Father Christmas is giving IT staff a miss this year with no repeat of 1997's end of year bonus bonanza, according to job market experts.
Pay outs have been hit by the completion of Year 2000 projects and financial difficulties at investment banks, which generally pay out the biggest end of year rewards.
Bonuses worth 15 per cent to 20 per cent of salaries were common in the finance sector last December.
Ian Knowlson, head of permanent posts at recruitment company QA Myriad, said: "Last year, businesses felt they needed to pay bonuses to retain staff for Year 2000 projects, but most now have that in hand."
He said so-called 'silly bonuses' had dried up, except for workers with scarce skills, such as in SAP's software.
Max Mackin, Computer Futures' divisional manager for finance, said many banks had done badly this year, affecting end of year bonuses.
However, he said that a few staff will have a happy new year, with some finance houses awarding a bonus for successful support of the European single currency, to be launched on 1 January, 1999.
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