The issue of recognition of employee contribution by way of bonuses has emerged as a topic of significant interest within the current marketplace. Human resource experts at Accsys, a national supplier of payroll, HR, Time & Attendance and Access Control solutions, say that in the current socio-economic climate, it may be best to treat a bonus as discretionary, based on measurable results, unless stipulated as part of a contract.

The bonus or ‘13th cheque’ is used as a means of recognising and rewarding the efforts of individuals within a business. The criteria upon which bonuses are issued varies from company to company, and is often negotiated between employee and employer during the final stages of recruitment. Teryl Schroenn, CEO at Accsys, says the approval of bonuses and distribution thereof is dependent on a number of factors. “In the past bonuses used to be built into a package and were, for the most part, an expectation.

However, in the past few years, we have experienced a shift in policy and mindset. Many companies now base their bonus structure on clearly defined deliverables,” says Schroenn. These deliverables are usually structured into packages and may be around profitability or project completion. However, the situation becomes complex when an employee ‘expects’ a bonus and does not receive one, or when certain precedents are set by a company in terms of policy which may be seen to be subjective. “If certain precedents have been set by management to award bonuses or incentives to certain people and not to others, there would certainly be a case for taking the matter up with a line manager or officially querying the reason,” says Schroenn. “

This would also enable the employee to understand how management is evaluating his or her performance and to request direction around improvement so that he or she is considered a contributor when the next bonus payments are made,” she continues. According to Accsys management this is important to understand in order to effectively manage employee reaction to the payment of bonuses. “Decision makers often have to be concerned about the security of their employee base following the payment of bonuses. While there are employees who stay in jobs to ensure that they receive their bonuses and resign immediately afterwards, there are those who will stay but be demotivated. The most constructive thing to do is ...

to be honest and give the facts as they are - this will allow the employee to give his/her viewpoint and there should be a positive way forward. Employees who are poorly rated by management may resign, but where there is potential, there is the possibility of growth for both sides during open communication,” Schroenn explains.



Key aspects to consider

• Accsys management suggests treating the bonus or 13th cheque as discretionary, based on measurable results, unless stipulated as part of a contract

• The process of bonus approval and distribution ranges from company to company, but is generally used to recognise individual or team contribution

• Times have changed. In the past a guaranteed bonus was built into a package, but now it is primarily based on what has been negotiated as part of a contract

• The situation governing bonus allocation becomes complex if certain precedents have been set by management

• Dialogue and effective communication between employer and employee is the best approach to take in order to fully clarify misunderstanding and ensure that all parties are satisfied

• Open, frank and honest communication will help employees understand how their performance is being evaluated and also gather important insight and direction to improve where necessary

About Accsys

Accsys is an award winning supplier of payroll, HR, time & attendance and access control solutions that are designed to optimise the management of people and processes in business. Accsys is an acknowledged market leader with customers in 13 countries.

The Accsys offering combines modern software solutions with high standards of service and an emphasis on training and skills upliftment. Accsys prides itself on keeping a balance between consultants with strong academic qualifications as well as those with extensive industry knowledge. The solutions have been developed in South Africa since 1980 and are geared towards enhancing local and African conditions.

Part of the UCS group of technology companies, Accsys' success as an industry leader in the provision of HR solutions is built on a solid base of product excellence, customer satisfaction and total support.

Accsys Products and Services include:

Accsys PeopleWare Enterprise

• Manages the full spectrum of payroll, HR, time & attendance, access control and employee self service on a single database

• Available separately or as a suite

• Employee Self Service and a Manager’s Dashboard

• Single point of entry for employee information , leave and all data input

Accsys PeopleSource

• Outsourcing Bureau for payroll and HR

Accsys PeoplePlace Recruitment

• Specialising in Payroll, HR and Time and Attendance temporary and permanent placements

Accsys Payroll Administration Diploma

• On line 1 year certificate or 2 year diploma


• 2010 Top Women in Business and Governance

• 2009 Visionary CIO Finalist

• 2009 Technology Top 100 - Ministers Award for Sustainability

• 2009 Achiever Award Finalist

• 2008 Technology Top 100 - Established Enterprise Finalist

• 2007 Regional Business Achiever Award – Gauteng Corporate

• 2007 Technology Top 100 - Excellence in Management of People

• 2006 Regional Business Achiever Award – Gauteng Corporate

• 2006 Technology Top 100 - Ministers Qualifying Enterprise Technology

Company contact:

Cherrie Lawlor

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(011) 719 8000