Companies to Pay Smallest Chuseok Bonuses This Year

  • By Kim Kang-han

    September 15, 2020 11:13

    Businesses will pay the smallest bonuses for the upcoming Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving since records began in 2012, as they feel the effects of the coronavirus epidemic.

    Only 51.3 percent of 1,140 companies surveyed by job portal Saramin said they will pay Chuseok bonuses to their employees this year, compared to 53.9 percent last year.

    The average bonus they will hand out will be W586,000, down W61,000 from last year's W647,000 and the lowest level since 2012 (US$1=W1,184). Large companies plan to pay out W920,000, while midsize and small businesses will hand out W680,000 and W510,000.

    Asked why they plan to pay bonuses, 44.3 percent said they want to boost employee morale in this difficult time of coronavirus. Some 35.2 percent said it is in line with company pay rules, while 24.4 percent hope to improve employee loyalty and 18.1 percent to cover part of Chuseok spending for staff.

    Companies were allowed to give multiple answers.

    Among 555 companies that do not plan to pay bonuses, 33.9 percent cited "financial difficulties due to coronavirus." Some 30.6 percent said they will give out gifts instead of cash bonuses and 27.6 percent have no holiday bonus rules. About 23.2 percent said they simply cannot afford it.

    Meanwhile, more than half, or 59.4 percent, of companies said they are advising staff not to travel to their ancestral hometowns this Chuseok due to the resurgence of coronavirus.

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