Bonus Watch ’21: EY UK Is Paying Employees a ‘Lockdown Bonus’ Even Though It May Encourage a Dreaded Entitlement Mentality

At the end of March, the Queen’s Deloitte announced in a firm-wide webcast that thanks to employees’ hard work and determination throughout the pandemic the firm would be giving them up to £2,000. You know, as a way to say “hey, sorry we had to cut back when the panini scared the shit out of us even though we made more money last year than we ever have, here’s a little something to say thank you.” As my esteemed colleague Bramwell noted in his headline about the bonus announcement, it sure beats a pizza party.

Well it seems TPTB at EY UK agreed with that assessment and realized that pepperoni wasn’t going to cut it after seeing what Deloitte whipped out in lieu of haute kindergarten cuisine.

Via Sky News:

Sky News has learnt that EY is to hand an average £1,100 one-off payout to 17,500 employees – making it the second of the profession’s dominant quartet to announce such a gesture, following a similar move by Deloitte in
March.

Staff were informed of the payout in a video message from Hywel Ball, EY’s UK chairman and UK and Ireland regional managing partner, on Thursday afternoon.

You’ll be relieved to hear partners are not eligible for bonus payouts. You’ll recall that the Rona already hit partners in their pockets when the firm announced a 20% cut in partner profits back in April 2020. They haven’t had the best year but no one has if we’re being honest.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on people, communities and businesses in the UK, changing the way we work and live, and taking a vast emotional toll on individuals and families,” said Ball in a statement to Sky News. “It is against this backdrop that I am very proud of our people across the UK. They have worked incredibly hard to support our clients and stakeholders during very challenging circumstances. The payment we have announced today is a way for the EY partners to express our gratitude for their resilience and exceptional commitment.”

That’s nice. And infinitely better than pizza. Maybe this whole lockdown thing hasn’t been all bad, maybe we’ll never have to stuff a single thank you slice down our throats at awkward office “parties” ever again.

Oh and in case the “entitlement mentality” headline went over your head, here read this.

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