By Marcus Leach

Workers in the UK earned a combined total of £37 billion in bonuses for the year ending in March, according to official data released today (Wednesday).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released the bonus payments data, which shows the average bonus for workers is in the region of £1,400. However that data is skewed due to the scale of bonuses in different sectors.

Staff in the finance and insurance sector received £13 billion of the total, 9% down on the previous year, with the finance sector receiving 36% of all bonuses, even though just 4% of all employees work in the industry.

"The increase in bonus payments for the whole economy was driven by the rest of the economy, which experienced a 12 per cent increase in bonuses," a ONS statement said.

"Overall, bonuses paid to employees in the rest of the economy in 2011/12 were almost as high as bonus payments in 2007/08, when bonus payments were at their peak."

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