By Jonathan Davies

Managers in the UK are still being rewarded with bonuses despite underperforming, according to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

The research into the pay of 70,000 UK bosses found that a third of those handed a bonus are "underperformers".

The CMI found that the average bonus for a director "non meeting expectations" is £45,000, falling to £9,000 for an underperforming manager.

CMI chief executive Ann Francke said: "Too many managers are reaping the rich rewards of their positions despite being poor performers.

"Unfortunately, it seems to be a lot easier to reward poor performance than to face the awkwardness of having difficult conversations with underperforming staff."

Ms Francke explained that bonuses are becoming a part of normal pay, rather than a reward for hard work or exceeding expectations.

"Another reason so many low performers get bonuses is that there is often a culture of rewarding past glories.

"The longer that goes on, the more people come to rely on the money... employers really should think about whether it would be better to address the level of basic pay."