In the Han Dynasty, there was a year-end bonus: “La Ci” was equivalent to a year’s salary

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In ancient times, Feishui yamen issued red envelopes for the new year, and some officials invited their subordinates to eat a meal.



Whenever winter comes, local officials often think that in the name of the purchase of heating charcoal by the capital officials, they honor money to the six Department commanders, which is called “charcoal respect”.

When the new year approaches, workers who have worked hard for a year focus on the big red envelope of “year-end bonus”. What historical changes has the year-end bonus experienced? Is there any difference between the year-end awards of countries all over the world?

When will the year-end bonus start

“La Ci” in Han Dynasty is quite thick

Year end bonuses have been around for a long time in China. In the Eastern Han Dynasty, the emperor began to give year-end bonuses to all civil and military officials as soon as December came. The item of “La Ci” recorded in “Han Guan Yi” is: the general and Sangong each have 200000 yuan, beef 200 Jin, japonica rice 200 yuan, tejin and Hou 150000, Qing 100000, Captain 50000, Minister 30000, sergeant, general and doctor 20000 each, thousand stone and 600 stone 7000 each, tiger Ben Lang and Yulin Lang 3000. It is said that at that time, the monthly salary of Sangong and the general was only 17500 yuan, and receiving this year-end bonus was equivalent to a year’s salary.

The salaries of officials in the Song Dynasty include regular salary (money), salary millet (meters), position money, public money, position land, tea and soup money, vouchers (travel expenses), kitchen materials, charcoal and many other dazzling items. Although the salary is very high, the year-end bonus is very few. Every winter solstice, the emperor gives year-end bonuses to senior officials. Prime ministers, secret envoys, and ministers who once became kings each have only five sheep, five stone noodles, two stone meters, and two jars of yellow rice wine.

At the end of the Qing Dynasty, the emperor used his wallet to reward his ministers. “The sequel to the roaring Pavilion” recorded that during the Qianlong and Jiaqing dynasties, “at the end of the year, all princes and ministers gave it; the former ministers gave it a purse of” peace in the year “. How much money will this reward bag contain? At the end of the year, the Emperor gave the Mongolian prince a pair of big purses, which usually contained a piece of eight treasures of jade of various colors; Four pairs of small purses, each containing one of the eight treasures of gold and silver; There is also a small purse with four gold and silver coins and four gold and silver coins, which is also a very rich “year-end bonus”.

During the Republic of China, shop assistants and company employees generally also had year-end bonuses. How many year-end bonuses are there? The shopkeeper or manager may have a year-end bonus of thousands or hundreds of dollars. It’s good for guys and ordinary workers to have a year-end bonus of dozens or a few dollars. There are a group of apprentices in shops and workshops. Apprentices generally have no salary, but they have year-end bonuses. The generous boss will give a red envelope of 20 or 30 yuan, and the stingy boss will give the apprentice a good meal, which can also be regarded as a year-end bonus. At that time, on the 360 day of the year (lunar calendar), the landlords’ long-term workers ate meat for about 20 days. These days, most of them are concentrated in the first month. The landlord’s giving meat to the long-term workers is a sign of solicitation and encouragement, while the owner who does not add meat to the long-term workers in the first month will be notorious for being stingy. Eating meat can also be regarded as the year-end bonus of long-term workers.

After the founding of new China, factories and government agencies in the era of planned economy implemented a welfare system of in kind payment. When the new year was approaching, they did not pay year-end bonuses, but issued food or tickets. The most typical ones were large pieces of frozen hairtail and frozen meat, or let everyone line up to get bicycle tickets and sewing tickets in turn. Because it’s useless to pay money, you can’t buy anything good without money and tickets. The year-end harvest of everyone depends on whether the unit is a “powerful Department” and whether the factory director or director has “ability” and “courage”. With the deepening of reform and opening up, there are a lot of goods on the market, and physical rewards are gradually cancelled. Units begin to pay year-end bonuses at the end of the year.

Where does the year-end bonus come from

Income generation methods vary

Recently, some media reported that the Spanish government, which is in deep economic crisis, allowed firefighters to take pictures of themselves as models and sell calendars duty-free in order to raise year-end bonuses by themselves. In ancient China, the year-end bonuses of senior officials were distributed by the imperial court, while the year-end bonuses of small officials and officials needed them to find ways to generate income.

During the Qin, Han, Wei and Jin Dynasties, official documents were written on bamboo slips. During the transmission of official documents, the official documents were packed in pockets, pasted with clay and sealed with official seals. Another department received this pocket, stripped the clay, poured out the official document, and the pocket containing the official document became waste. At that time, there were leather, silk and linen bags for bamboo slips, which could be sold for money. If you save more pockets, you can sell them in the market at the end of the year, and you will have a year-end bonus.

During the Tang and Song Dynasties, the Yamen of various prefectures were allowed to lend usury to the people for a period of time. The principal of usury includes “capital” and “public money” allocated by the imperial court, as well as funds raised by officials themselves. The profits obtained are reduced by the national finance and retained by the local governments. Most of the interest is deposited in the small Treasury, and some of the money is used to distribute new year goods and red envelopes at the end of the year.

During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the salary of officials was very low. The year-end bonus of Beijing officials was not issued by the imperial court, but from local officials. At that time, local officials had many channels to make money, while Beijing officials were relatively poor. In order to obtain information and get the care of the capital officials, when winter comes, local officials often think that the capital officials buy heating charcoal in the name of filial piety to the six Department commanders, which is called “charcoal respect”. There is a poem evidence that said: “auspicious snow is carefree and goes down nine times, and the Department of government officials hangs colored lanterns. Frequently knock on the Zhumen to offer the stove, and the jade makes a fire pool to melt charcoal red.”

In fact, Tan Jing is the Spring Festival holiday fee, which is locally called Jie Jing. Tanjing means “giving new year gifts” (New Year gifts), so local officials generally do not directly say the number in the attached letter, but replace it with eight rhymes, ten rhymes or dozens of rhymes of plum blossom poems. If it is 40 Liang silver, it is “40 sages”, and 300 Liang is “one Mao poem”, which is very elegant. Someone gave Belle zaitou onethousand taels of silver. The envelope was written with the words “Thousand Buddha Sutra”, but the Playboy didn’t even understand this meaning, so he showed it to others. Later, he opened it and found that there were onethousand taels of silver inside.

How much is the year-end bonus: some people are happy and others are worried

How to make the year-end bonus recipients happy is actually a global problem. The distribution of year-end bonuses in foreign countries is different from that in China in terms of quantity and method. In addition to the salary with a ceiling, ordinary civil servants in the United States have almost no subsidies and hidden income of any nature, no performance bonuses, no stock dividends, and no year-end bonuses. Scientific research and education institutions do not issue year-end bonuses, and not even every company has year-end bonuses. In the United States, the purpose of giving year-end bonuses is to reward employees with excellent performance and encourage them to work hard, so not every employee can get them. Even if there is, the amount is not large, about 1% to 3% of the annual income. On Wall Street, known as the weathervane of the American economy, a report said that the total compensation of investment bankers and traders would fall by 8% this year, only about half of the level in 2007. Before the year, banks poured cold water on employees’ year-end bonus expectations.

In Japan, employees from ordinary enterprises to civil servants have year-end bonuses. In many Japanese enterprises, in addition to the semi annual bonus and year-end bonus every six months, the bonus will be paid again in April every year, but not to the employee himself, but to the employee’s wife, which is called “wife bonus”. Japanese enterprises believe that the wife bonus is very important, which can urge employees’ wives to better support their husbands’ work.

The year-end bonus of employees in Swiss enterprises is mainly linked to the annual surplus of the group and the annual business compliance rate of individuals. General small and medium-sized enterprises, on the premise that the whole company has an ideal annual surplus, and the employee’s business compliance rate is 100% or more, can receive a year-end bonus equivalent to 3 to 4 months’ salary; Those with a compliance rate of 50% or less will only receive a year-end bonus equivalent to one month’s salary. The year-end bonus of civil servants is mainly determined by the individual’s annual working ability and performance evaluation grade. The income of the first year of service is about 94% of the basic salary, and the second year is increased by 2% to 6% according to the ability and performance.

The year-end bonus of British civil servants is linked to performance, and the year-end bonus of some senior civil servants is as high as 50000 pounds. However, civil servants must state the benefits of wages, bonuses, allowances, benefits, free travel and various income in the declaration according to law. In recent years, the high year-end bonus of civil servants has caused continuous controversy. Since coming to power in May 2010, British Prime Minister Cameron has begun to vigorously suppress the “Crazy” dividends of civil servants and sharply reduce civil servants’ bonuses.

France does not stipulate that year-end bonuses must be given to civil servants, and the year-end bonuses of most civil servants are equivalent to 8% of the total annual wages. Even those who receive the minimum “social integration allowance” can receive a holiday fee at the end of each year, ranging from 150 euros to 500 euros.

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Send it or not

Not the “legal obligation” of the unit

The year-end bonus is the abbreviation of the annual one-time bonus, which refers to the one-time bonus paid by withholding agents such as administrative organs, enterprises and institutions to employees according to their annual economic benefits and the comprehensive assessment of employees’ annual work performance, and also includes the annual salary and performance salary paid by the units that implement the annual salary system and performance-based salary method according to the assessment.

The provisions on the composition of total wages issued by the National Bureau of statistics clearly states: “total wages are composed of the following six parts: hourly wages; piece wages; bonuses; allowances and subsidies; overtime wages; wages paid under special circumstances.” The bonus is also explained in the appendix “explanation of employee wages” of the “provisions”, in which the production bonus includes over production award, quality award, safety award, comprehensive Award for assessing various economic indicators, early completion award, foreign vessel dispatch award, year-end award, etc. According to the above provisions, it can be determined that the “year-end bonus” belongs to the scope of wages.

However, unlike the mandatory provisions of the labor law such as the minimum wage standard and the payment of social insurance premiums, the “year-end bonus” is not mandatory for employers. According to the provisions of the labor law, “the employing unit shall independently determine the salary distribution mode and salary level of the unit according to the production and operation characteristics and economic benefits of the unit in accordance with the law”, the employing unit has the autonomy to whether to implement the year-end bonus system. When the unit has not implemented the year-end bonus system and the two parties have not agreed on the year-end bonus, the request of the worker to claim to pay the year-end bonus is groundless.

The Civil Servant Law implemented on January 1st, 2006 also stipulates that only those who obtain “excellent” or “competent” in the comprehensive assessment of civil servants’ morality, ability, diligence, performance and integrity can obtain the year-end bonus; Those who are “basically competent” will not enjoy the year-end bonus; If the regular assessment is determined to be “incompetent”, the position level shall be reduced by one; Those who are determined to be “incompetent” in the annual assessment for two consecutive years shall be dismissed.

Latest survey

Half of the enterprises intend to

Raise year-end bonus

For society, the year-end bonus is like a prism, reflecting the welfare gap of different industries. The issue of year-end bonus distribution is essentially a matter of wealth distribution, involving both initial distribution and redistribution. A perfect year-end bonus system is “win-win” for employers and workers, as well as for society and workers.

Recently, a Research Center released the “2012 enterprise year-end bonus Research Report”. The report shows that compared with 2011, 50% of the surveyed enterprises will slightly increase the year-end bonus, 10% of the enterprises will remain unchanged, but nearly 40% of the enterprises will reduce the year-end bonus – for the employees of 60% of the enterprises, 2012 will not be worse than the previous year. In this survey, 71% of the surveyed state-owned enterprises and 64% of the surveyed private enterprises will increase the year-end bonus, while the proportion of the surveyed foreign enterprises to increase the year-end bonus is only 52%.

Recently, the “2012 workplace year-end bonus survey” conducted by the media found that 96.88% of people believed that the payment of year-end bonuses would have an impact on employees’ loyalty to the enterprise. For most enterprises, the incentive function of the year-end bonus is greatly reduced because the distribution of the year-end bonus has become a habit. At this time, appropriate innovation can be carried out. For example, incentive tourism and vacation are becoming a new way of the year-end bonus. Many years later, employees may forget that the boss put a few tickets in his red envelope that year, but the beautiful scenery of Sanya beach or Phuket Island can become a lifelong memory for themselves or their families.

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