Do you expect to get a bonus this year?

With the holidays rapidly approaching, I have a question for those of you who work a traditional job: Are you expecting a bonus this year?

It’s hard to believe how much things have changed since last year. There were still so many people out of work and struggling at this point in 2020. I got this letter last year from a small business owner who couldn’t afford holiday bonuses.…cant-afford-bonuses/ I really felt for him because it sounded like he had been good to his employees and made sacrifices to avoid layoffs.

But oh how the tides have turned! Now businesses can’t find enough people to hire. Starting pay for entry-level jobs is higher than ever and hiring bonuses have become common. With businesses struggling to find and retain workers, are you expecting your boss to be more generous than usual this holiday season?

On that note: If a company decides not to give bonuses but has given them every year, should they let employees know ahead of time? (I know we’re all thinking of Clark Griswold’s Jelly of the Month Club surprise here.) That was the letter writer’s dilemma: He was wondering whether to tell employees in September that he couldn’t afford bonuses.

Whenever you do something regularly, like giving bonuses, you create an expectation. That doesn’t mean you’re making a lifelong commitment to the bonuses flowing forever. But I think the kind thing to do is to give a head’s-up that it won’t be coming. At my old job, we got holiday bonuses every year. Then we were notified a few days before Christmas (in a memo with a sad-face pug in a Santa hat) that we wouldn’t be getting bonuses, even though the company was having a great year.

Should we have counted on bonuses? Of course not. But it was reasonable to expect that we’d get them, and everyone was really disappointed. It would have felt a lot more respectful had they just let us know a few weeks in advance that bonuses weren’t happening.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!


I work for the Government, Bonuses that we might or might not get, go like this, we won’t see it until the first week in December and what the bonus consists of is two $100 gift cards to Walmart total of $200 before tax and equal $153 total after the government takes their tax revenue out. Yup, sad, but better than a sharp stick in the eye or being fired. We have asked before why not give us employees a choice of 2 cards same value to Walmart or HEB the grocery store chain here in Texas or some other type of business and we were told that will never happen, very sad indeed.

My question is if you receive(d) a bonus of any kind from your employer over any years that you have worked, was or has it ever been taxed ?

As a side note, I do know people who get cash bonuses, and their employer pays the tax. Feel free to reply back to me or the community, thank you in advance.


We got our pay increase at the end of the fiscal year. I get my bonus in December as that is the month that I started with the state.


I got a bonus back in September, fortunately (even though it wasn’t much). As the word “bonus” suggests, it is merely extra and I generally just use that to invest as opposed to depend on it on any regular spending.

However, if an employer cannot give a bonus, they really should have the transparency to say that they can’t give one. The dilemma for the owner is there: they don’t want to trigger a panic nor do they want to trigger bad morale. At the same time, the employees will find out anyway when their bonus is missing. So clarity and transparency here only makes a very bad situation, a lot less bad.


hello everyone, i work in the public school we don;t get any bonus, but because we are lunch room monitors and spend lunch time with the children, while teachers have their lunch, the teachers collect from each teatcher and give us montiors money in a card thanking us for what we do, that is so nice, we apricate it


Haven’t seen one in years. Maybe next year.

I’ve found that many job openings does not mean employers are even serious about hiring. It is the end of year and some businesses just post jobs and plan to act later in 2022 (yes, Covid is still a thing). I’ve experienced this slow to hire environment first hand. And many of the openings are restaurant or retail jobs which are not full time, have zero benefits nor will they work long term to create a career.


Yeah, gift cards here as well. And I usually do get a bonus, but it varies wildly with the amount. Depends on the government budget (I work for a housing authority) and lately it’s really been in flux. So, fingers crossed. And yes, they take taxes out of my bonus.


Yes. We have gotten our bonus and cost of living increase even during the pandemic. Our Governor didn’t lock down as many stores like other states. Even Goodwill was open and they had to pay for radio advertising to remind people they were still open. Therefore the state was still getting tax income so there were funds for our bonuses and cost of living increase.