Taking a bonus whilst 140 others are made redundant – surely this isn’t right?

I was really disappointed, writes Zah Azeem, a Partner at Chartered Surveyors Scrivener Tibbatts, to read that Sean Tompkins, the CEO of my chartered body, RICS, is to receive bonuses of more than £260,000, in site of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors making 140 redundancies in 2020 and taking £20,000 for the furlough scheme. 

Property Week quoted Neil Sinclair, CEO of UK REIT Palace Capital: “It is ridiculous. Our position is very clear – we have taken no government money at all or furloughed anyone because we decided that if we did, there were certain things we couldn’t do. For him to make people redundant and accept furlough money and then take a bonus is a bit of a joke.” 

The RICS report reads that it was “appropriate and defensible” to pay the incentive. 

According to This Week in FM: “The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) was one of the many organisations that took advantage of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in 2020, asking around 30 per cent of their UK workers to go on furlough. New people hires were frozen, and several members of the executive team took voluntary pay cuts. In July, RICS announced the permanent closure of all of their UK offices, excluding those in London, Birmingham and Edinburgh, and around 140 people were made redundant.  

A RICS spokesperson told This Week in FM: “That it’s important to clarify that Tomkins was paid £73,000, not the reported £260,000. According to the 2020 Remuneration Report, the outstanding £180,000 is not guaranteed, nor is payable until 2022. The report reads: 

“CEO’s variable pay Executive Incentive Plan: the CEO received a cash award of £73,911 in respect of the 2019–20 Plan, to be paid in January 2021; this was in accordance with the agreed bonus pool. The CEO also received an award of £189,720 in respect of the deferred element of the Plan, payable in 2022 subject to performance conditions continuing to be met in the interim; this represents the full calculated amount under the Plan Rules.” 

Surely the RICS Remuneration committee needs to take a good long look at itself, and if he’s any honour I hope Tomkins declines the bonus.  

Only a few weeks ago I was writing – here – to say how proud I was to be a Chartered Surveyor.   

If you would like to discuss something related to a property valuation please contact Zah direct via email at zah@scrivenertibbatts.co.uk or call 020 8947 7040.