Changes to bonuses and additonal payments

22nd March 2011


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Changes in environmental professionals' bonuses during 2010 as revealed by IEMA's pay and benefits survey 2011

Respondents were asked about changes to any extra payments they receive, such as overtime pay and discretionary or performance-based bonuses. Two-thirds of respondents (66.9%) reported that these payments were the same in 2010 as in 2009; 12.2% said they had gone down; and almost one in five (18.6%) reported an increase (see figure 8).

Figure 8: Percentage change in bonus, overtime and commission over 2010 by membership

Changes to additional payments show a relationship with membership level, with few graduate and affiliate members receiving increases in extra salary payments, and the proportion seeing increases rising up to fellow level. The fact that only around one in nine members said they had suffered a reduction in payments, such as commission and bonus payouts, suggests again that many environmental practitioners may not have been hard-hit by the second year of the recession.

In terms of the change in bonus, overtime and commission payments, the majority of members report no change and there is little difference across membership levels. All membership levels had some receiving a 10% or more increase, however a greater proportion of fellows received this level of increase.

Working time and workload

The environmental practitioners in this year’s poll were asked to estimate their actual (rather than contracted) weekly working hours. The aggregated results show:

  • 5% work less than 30 hours a week;
  • 22.5% work 37 hours;
  • 13.2% work 38 hours;
  • 20.1% work 40 hours;
  • 5.2% work 45 hours;
  • 17.5% work more than 45 hours.

The fact that almost 23% of respondents are working at least 45 hours a week – more than another whole working day compared with those working a common 37-hour week – suggests that a sizeable proportion of practitioners have a very heavy workload. There is some correlation between salary levels and hours worked. The median salary (excluding extra payments) for those reporting a working week of more than 45 hours was £43,600, while those on a 37-hour week earned £32,500.

Respondents were also asked if the downturn had any impact on the amount of work they had to do during 2010. We found that workload over the year had:

  • increased for 46.5% of respondents;
  • stayed the same for 45%;
  • fallen for 8.5%.

Between membership levels there is relatively little variation; graduate members have the greatest proportion reporting no change, while fellows have the greatest proportion experiencing a change in workload:

  • 24% said their workload had increased;
  • 72.1% said it had not changed;
  • 3.8% said it had decreased.

Considering the relatively high proportion of respondents experiencing an increase in workload but the relatively small proportion receiving salary and bonus increases above the rate of inflation, many environmental professionals appear to be working harder, for longer, but are relatively worse off.


Read the full survey results:

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