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Is the Christmas Bonus a Thing of the Past?

Posted December 15, 2011 8:06 AM

It used to be that most U.S. employers gave their workers some type of Christmas gift or holiday bonus at year-end. These gifts ranged from turkeys or gift certificates to cash bonuses equal to a percent of a employee's salary. Has the recent recession ended the tradition of the holiday bonus altogether? What about other holiday perks, like the annual office party?

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#1

Re: Is the Christmas Bonus a Thing of the Past?

12/15/2011 4:33 PM

I worked at a place for a short time the owner gave a generous $100 cash bonus for Christmas plus a big speech about how its not necessary for him to do so and it was just his way of showing appreciation to his employees.

Unfortunately everyones next paycheck also came with a $100 (plus tax) deduction taken right off the take home pay amount. (Merry Christmas I just cheated you out of $7 - $10 by double taxing you on a $100 cash loan to and from yourself.)

The really sad part was that out of about 100 employees only 5 or 6 of us where smart enough to figure it out that he was getting the upper hand.

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#9
In reply to #1

Re: Is the Christmas Bonus a Thing of the Past?

12/17/2011 11:16 AM

Wtf....sounds like someone crossed the line on labor laws.

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#2

Re: Is the Christmas Bonus a Thing of the Past?

12/15/2011 7:03 PM

I used to get a $50 Safeway card at Thanksgiving, and another at Christmas... Used to...

This year I got a package in the mail... What was inside?

Wrapping paper and bows .

Better than a sharp stick in the eye.

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#12
In reply to #2

Re: Is the Christmas Bonus a Thing of the Past?

12/20/2011 12:38 PM

And far better that a pink slip.

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#3

Re: Is the Christmas Bonus a Thing of the Past?

12/16/2011 3:46 AM

We get a 2 fold bonus, first the company collects all of the gifts from suppliers & those that come from 'spend £XX, get a free gift' offers. These are given away in a free company wide Xmas raffle. We also get a salary bonus based on overall company performance. This year it will be 5½% of annual salary. The company also saved the cash made by selling stainless & copper scrap that we generate through the year & gave the money to 2 local charities.

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#4

Re: Is the Christmas Bonus a Thing of the Past?

12/16/2011 9:25 AM

I got a gift card for 25$ for use at walmart. As i dont shop at walmart i gave it to the needy.

Ron

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#5

Re: Is the Christmas Bonus a Thing of the Past?

12/16/2011 10:29 AM

Twenty years ago I was working for a small engineering firm in Albany (I eventually ended up working there 12 years), here we received an additional weekly paycheck (taxes and FICA deducted first, of course). It wasn't expected, but greatly appreciated to receive such a gift around the holidays, even when the economy sucked.....the bosses were very generous IMO.

Now days, I rarely hear of any employer presenting any type of gift or throwing a lavish Christmas party for their employees and spouses/BF/GF at a nice restaurant. Too bad employees are taken for granted and no wonder the job-hopping happens more often the past decade. Loyalty to one's employer has flown out the window......afterall, it's a 2-way street!

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#6

Re: Is the Christmas Bonus a Thing of the Past?

12/16/2011 10:36 AM

I work at a Brewery. We get 4 cases of free beer for the Holiday.

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#7

Re: Is the Christmas Bonus a Thing of the Past?

12/16/2011 11:59 AM

30 years at this company. We used to get a turkey and a christmas dinner. Then they started giving the turkey to the food bank and give you a card for donating the turkey. The dinner turn into a dance (free water, pop, coffee). Now we get a email thanking all for donating the turkeys and the dance was getting so big, you now have to buy tickets (limited amount). Never in my career did I see a christmas bonus. If you never had one, you do not miss them. The enginnering company charges your time to the client, we never got to go home early, christymas eve or new years eve.

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#8

Re: Is the Christmas Bonus a Thing of the Past?

12/16/2011 12:46 PM

The last time I got a year-end bonus was in 1994 or 95. I think any company should do this as long as they aren't in the red. (I can even make an argument, that since many smaller to mid-sized companies are operating off of bank loans to begin with, employee morale is just as valuable an investment as capital equipment, or "other" operating expenses. And even if their cash flow hasn't brought them out of debt yet, it would still be an "investment" to give employees a bonus of some kind. The gesture means more than the amount. Oh, wait. The banks may not be lending them money much anymore. I forgot.)

It also depends on the industry. Obviously, much, if not all, of the banking/financial industry continues to give bonuses and maybe more than once a year. Ho Ho Ho... (as in, we, the public have been pimped -- or our money has). (Sorry for such a crude reference. But the bonuses seem crass to the average citizen.)

I have never liked office parties. So I don't consider that a perk. That's more of a "dutiful" annoyance to me. More like work.

I do try to keep it all in perspective. SO many people are having a hard time now. Families living out of vehicles and/or motel rooms. Families that used to have homes and jobs. It's a real shame.

Maybe if we officially become a wholly-owned subsidiary of China, we can hope they give bonuses. Do they give bonuses in China?

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: Is the Christmas Bonus a Thing of the Past?

12/17/2011 12:20 PM

Possibly they only get a bowl of rice full of maggots....

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#11

Re: Is the Christmas Bonus a Thing of the Past?

12/20/2011 12:37 PM

A Christmas Bonus is no different than other benny's.

Because once you establish your benefits, no matter if it was gratuity, it then becomes expected. Ones you give it, it is difficult (not impossible) to repeal or adjust it the following year when business may become flat.

As a small business owner, I was very careful as to what I gave. And employees also knew when we were doing well or not. I had given out Christmas bonus, and there were times where the employees were disappointed, but they realized it and were not surprised.

One thing was, when were at a peak, no matter what time of year it was where they were busting their arses because of a good solid workload. They also received an extra bonus check with their payroll check. Being unexpected, this far outweigh the disappointment.

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Is the Christmas Bonus a Thing of the Past?

12/21/2011 4:07 AM

Our bonus is linked to a number of key factors, things like overall profit, on-time deliveries, yield & a few others. These are all published monthly so we can all see how the business is going then, if we pass the minimum threshold, the % bonus increases as the figures improve.

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Is the Christmas Bonus a Thing of the Past?

12/21/2011 8:32 AM

That is a very good answer and to the point.

That is just it, business is just that, its a business. A christmas bonus is just that, a bonus. not an entitlement.

Now its a question of: Is the company going to revoke the christmas bonuses no matter if they meet their goals?

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Is the Christmas Bonus a Thing of the Past?

12/22/2011 4:29 AM

I think it unlikely that the company would stop the bonus but they can raise the qualifying conditions to limit the size if it is felt that it is too generous.

Luckily the management here is fairly open & believes in sharing the profit with the workers.

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