Nearly half of Korean firms will skip Lunar New Year’s holiday bonus: survey

2019.01.11 13:49:34 | 2019.01.11 13:49:55

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Almost half of companies in Korea won’t give out special bonuses for the Lunar New Year’s holiday, a customary practice in the country, partly due to poor business performance, a survey found.

According to a survey of 855 companies conducted by local job search portal Saramin, 403 firms or 47.1 percent said they would not pay bonuses to employees for the Lunar New Year’s holiday while 452 firms or 52.9 percent responded they would. Last year, the negative answer was 48.8 percent against positive 51.2 percent.

Asked why they were skipping the traditional payout, nearly six out of 10 cited poor business conditions. The largest 32.8 percent opted to give out gifts instead of cash bonus; 29.3 percent did not have enough cash reserve to pay bonus; 22.2 percent blamed weak business performance; and another 12.2 percent pointed to underperformance of business target. Multiple responses were allowed for the survey question.

The holiday bonus of those that plan payment averaged 710,000 won ($635) per employee this year. The average for last year was 760,000 won and 2017 at 780,000. Only 6 percent of the companies said they will be paying holiday bonus to reward good business performance. A 49.3 percent said they will pay holiday bonus payment to boost employee morale and 40.5 percent said they are obligated by company rules. Again, multiple responses were allowed for the survey question

The survey showed 72.9 percent of all respondents are readying to give a gift for the Lunar New Year with a plan to spend 53,000 won on gift per employee.

By Hwang Soon-min and Cho Jeehyun

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