Average Expected Bonus Outlook 2014 (Hong Kong)

Emblem of Hong Kong

Emblem of Hong Kong (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The jobsDB Compensation and Benefit Survey shows that the average performance bonus size for 2014 is 1.6 months of basic salary. The bonus in Financial Services sector is expected to be 5.3 months, the highest among all industries. As for pay rise, the projected rate for 2014 is 3.8%. For employee benefits, family-friendly practices are not widely adopted in Hong Kong. Only 31% of employers offered paternity leave and 18% introduced flexible work hours.

The Compensation & Benefit Survey was conducted by jobsDB.com in October 2013, covering a total of 124 companies from 22 business sectors.

Forecast average bonus size: 1.6 months of basic salary

The jobsDB Compensation & Benefit Survey reveals that the anticipated performance bonus size for 2014 is 1.6 months of basic salary, a slight rise from last year (1.5 months). The Financial Services sector reports the highest bonus size (5.3 months of basic salary), followed by Property Development (2.2 months of basic salary) and Manufacturing (1.9 months of basic salary).

As the Hong Kong economy remains steady this year and most businesses are able to keep good performance, employers from most business sectors plan to offer 1-month bonus or above. The Financial Services sector reports a sharp increase of bonus size (5.3 months of basic salary), reaching its highest since the financial tsunami. In fact, finance bonus has dropped substantially after the crisis. The high bonus growth reflects that the industry is recovering.

Average pay rise 3.8%

As for pay rise, the projected rate for 2014 is 3.8% on average. According to our data, 82% of employers plan to offer a pay rise. The top three sectors which offer the highest base pay increase are: Interior/Graphic Design (7.1%), Medical/Pharmaceutical (6.9%) and Electronics/Electrical Equipment and Property Development (both 5.4%).

The forecast reflects that employers are cautious on pay rise. The inflation for this year is 4% and we can see that the pay rise can’t keep pace with inflation. Our survey indicates that employers are not optimistic about the future, with 44% of them think that the employment market will be less active in 2014. The percentage of employers who intend to hire people in the fourth quarter also dropped to 55%, an 8% decrease compared with the same period last year. I believe employers are uncertain about business prospects and prefer to keep cautious on pay adjustment to control manpower costs. They tend to retain talents with high bonus, instead of offering high pay rise.

Family-friendly practices not sufficient

The survey also covers the benefits package offered by employers. In addition to base salary and bonus, 82% of employers offered clinical medical insurance, 76% implemented five-day work week and 63% provided training. Only 31% offered paternity leave and 18% introduced flexible work hours.


Over the past years, employees have expressed their concern about work-family balance. To address their needs, employers should study the feasibility of family-friendly policies such as 5-day work week, paternity leave, flexible work hours, work from home, job sharing and child care. These practices can create a greater sense of belonging and thus increase work efficiency and help attract talents. Another point to note is that Hong Kong’s labour force will start to drop in 2018 due to ageing population, according to government’s consultation document on population policy. Labour shortage will become a problem and employers are advised to adopt family-friendly practices as a way to attract talents. As a result, more family carers can be drawn into the labour market.

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