CGU and Norwich Union staff received a fillip this week with the news they will receive a 4% bonus if they stay with the merged operation until December 2001.

Under the deal, staff will get 4% of their annual salaries while those who are made redundant will also receive the reward, over and above their redundancy packages.

Details of the bonus were sent out to the two companies' employees in a letter last week.

Combined, the two composites have a global wage bill of £1,520m while in the UK they have workforce of nearly 32,000.

However, neither company would reveal how much has been set aside to pay for the bonuses.

CGU spokesman Ian Frater said the rewards are a recognition of the difficulties and extra workload that lie ahead for staff.