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How Organizations Are Handling Rewards and Hazard Pay Decisions in a COVID-19 World

25 Mar 2020 1:53 PM | Bill Brewer (Administrator)



As employers continue to navigate the uncertain terrain in a COVID-19 world, WorldatWork is collecting data throughout the week to gain a better understanding of how organizations are handling compensation decisions.

Hazard pay (incentives and spot bonuses) for employees who are required to work on-site during the pandemic has been a point of particular interest for organizations across the globe. WorldatWork’s “COVID-19 Quick Polls” survey of 267 organizations found Tuesday that 65% are not planning on offering extra pay, but instead will provide perks such as meals and daycare options, while 9% have nothing planned.

26% of surveyed employers said they are planning to provide hazard pay. Of those, 9% will offer a cash incentive that is a flat dollar amount, 8%  will give cash incentives tied to hours and shifts worked and 9% will give cash incentives that are based on a different formula, such as a percentage of salary.

NOTE: Hazard pay means additional pay for performing hazardous duty or work involving physical hardship. Work duty that causes extreme physical discomfort and distress that is not adequately alleviated by protective devices is deemed to impose a physical hardship. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not address the subject of hazard pay, except to require that it be included as part of a federal employee’s regular rate of pay in computing the employee’s overtime pay.


WorldatWork’s, “COVID-19 Quick Polls” found on Monday that 57% of organizations have already paid or still plan to pay out salary increases in 2020. However, 19% of 238 employers said they are waiting to decide on whether they will pay out salary increases and 17% said they are cancelling salary increases in 2020.


When it comes to bonus payouts for the 2019 plan year, which are typically paid out in early 2020, 67% of organizations said they have paid or still plan to pay out bonuses in 2020. Some companies are exercising caution, though, as 16% said they are waiting to decide whether they will pay out bonuses and 8% said they are cancelling bonuses in 2020.


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Source: WorldatWork


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