Bonuses and maternity leave: ask the expert

A question about bonuses and maternity leave:

I have recently returned from maternity leave, having taken the full 12 months plus accrued holidays ie I was off for the whole of 2009.  My organisation operates a performance rating system (1-5, 5 is high) and a discretionary bonus scheme. Prior to going on maternity leave I was rated as a 4 performer which meant that I always received a performance bonus.  The year I went off on maternity leave I received a lower performance rating (3) but still received a performance bonus. I am being told that my rating will carry forward for the year I was on maternity leave (2009), but I won’t receive a performance bonus. I have been in the same department since 2005 and for the years 05,06 and 07 I received a 4 ratings and a performance bonus each year. In the 9 years i have worked for this organisation I have never had a year whereby I have not received a discretionary bonus. I appreciate that the financial climate is tougher, but if I look objectively at my previous performance, the only difference is that I was out of the business for 14 months.

I now feel that I have been disadvantaged and discriminated against for going on maternity leave which seems very unfair. I have canvassed opinion of a few colleagues who have been involved in this year’s pay review and they believe I have been treated harshly. I was advised informally that the decision should have been made based on the assumption that I would have continued to perform at the same level.  I feel angry and upset and I want to clarify what my options might be before I challenge the decision.I feel I’ve had a few messages as a result of this decision: (1) I am not going to be as effective (2) I am no longer a high performer (3) my value/contribution is less than before.

I feel let down and disillusioned by the way I have been treated. Should I just accept this as a bad experience and move on, or do I have a case to challenge? The other complication is that I am actually pregnant again and will go off on maternity leave in May.

Unfortunately, the position in UK law regarding an employee’s entitlement to a bonus during maternity leave is extremely complex and inconsistent.

The guiding principle is that a bonus that is retroactive pay for work done (such as a performance bonus) may be reduced pro-rata for any time spent on maternity leave during the bonus period. However, the two-week compulsory maternity leave period must be treated as time worked for this purpose.

The law relating to discretionary loyalty bonuses is not straightforward.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal had ruled that discretionary loyalty bonuses must be paid in full, but that decision was later questioned in a subsequent case. Furthermore, changes to the Sex Discrimination Act in 2005 are likely to have reduced the impact of the original Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling.

An employer discriminates against an employee if it treats her less favourably than it would otherwise have done on the ground that she has taken maternity leave. This does suggest that an employee should not suffer any loss of bonus simply because she has exercised her right to maternity leave. However, the Sex Discrimination Act now includes wording which states that no claim can be made where a  woman has been deprived of “remuneration” during maternity leave. “Remuneration” is defined as sums payable “by way of wages or salary”. An employee would only be entitled to a bonus if the bonus fell outside this definition, which is unlikely.

It is now likely that the possibility of successfully bringing a claim for sex discrimination over the issue of bonuses during maternity leave is very narrow. It is likely that only the following claims could succeed under the Sex Discrimination Act:-

a)      A claim for a pro-rata discretionary bonus (taking account only of the periods of work, plus the two-week compulsory maternity leave period); and

b)      A claim for a full bonus where that bonus is neither regulated by the contract, nor “by way of wages or salary”. A one-off discretionary bonus might possibly fall into this category.

In summary, therefore, it is unlikely that you will be able to succeed with any claim for sex discrimination if your employer does not pay you a bonus for the period you were off on maternity leave, save that there is an argument that you should receive a pro rata bonus for the two-week compulsory maternity leave period. My advice is to lodge a formal grievance in relation to not receiving a pro rata bonus for the two-week compulsory maternity leave period.

 




Comments [79]

  • Monique Sommer says:

    Hi there, I am due back to work on 23rd October this year and have been on maternity leave since 20th October 2016. I have handed in my notice effective 31st January 2018. I’m on ICP since I’ve started in 2011. I am being put on garden leave straight after my maternity leave. Am I still entitled to ICP even though I haven’t gotten any objectives for 2017? I have received my bonus every year. Many thanks in advance

    • Mandy Garner

      Mandy Garner says:

      Hi Monique,
      Is your question about whether you should receive commission during your maternity leave period or your gardening leave period or both? Is your policy performance-related?
      Best wishes.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Hello,

    I have a query regarding commission/bonus payments.

    I’m due to go on Maternity leave in March, and wanted to know what my entitlements are relating to sales deals agreed prior to maternity leave?

    I have a number of deals that I have worked on for a couple of years which have been agreed but will not become invoicable until I’m on maternity leave. The company policy is that commission payments can be claimed once the invoice has been paid by the client. Because the sales were agreed prior to my maternity leave should I be able to claim commission on these deals despite being on maternity leave?

    Many thanks

    • Mandy Garner

      Mandy Garner says:

      Hi,
      An employee is entitled to be paid any sum earned before the start of her maternity leave regardless of whether it is actually paid after her leave has started. She should be paid it in the usual manner and on the day it is due, in this case on the pay day in the month after the one in which it was earned.

  • Sarah says:

    I work for a football club and whilst I was off on maternity leave they got promoted up a league.
    All other members of staff got a bonus for this (all office staff) but I didn’t receive anything, I have asked the question as to why I wasn’t included but they have failed to come back with any answer.
    If I was in work then I would have most definitely have received it, and I didnt think that you could be treated any differently having gone on maternity leave.
    Please can yo advise? I have spoken to ACAS who have said I should get it if everyone else did… but I dont know what to do next? I dont want to upset the apple cart at work if it is something that I am not entitled too.

    • Mandy Garner

      Mandy Garner says:

      Hi Sarah,
      If it is something everyone else got and is not related to performance in the period you were on maternity leave, you should get it. Who have you spoken to about this? Have you put your request in writing and copied in HR? If not, I would put it in writing again, mentioning that you have spoken to Acas, and copy in HR. If HR has been informed, you could consider starting a grievance process, stating that you believe you should have received the bonus. You could link to this background article – http://www.workingfamilies.org.uk/articles/a-mothers-rights-during-maternity-leave/
      Best wishes.

  • emma Jones says:

    HI
    Can you advise if my company are right?
    I have a yearly bonus paid 6 monthly. Whilst on Maternity Leave Nov 2015-May 2016 i received one payment in January relating to bonus august- December. I have just received a letter to say i will not be getting this half yearly bonus due to being on Maternity leave? I was back at work end of May so would have been at work 2 months of this qualifying period. The same as only i was on mat leave for 2.5 months of last bonus period. so how can they justify this?
    Thanks

  • anonymous says:

    Hi
    I am a board director of a group of companies. The usual bonus scheme has been changed this year. The result is that the bonus scheme will apply differently to different board members. Specifically myself and the only other female director have a bonus scheme which kicks in at a lower rate for us compared to our male colleagues. It equalizes at higher performance levels but initially our colleagues will earn a higher % bonus for lower company performance than we will. This will be justified by saying we carry out central functions and those other directors have earlier kick ins because they relate to operational areas.

    Because we are all at director level we don’t duplicate jobs so its hard to compare directly. the impact of the changes only reduces the female’s bonus though and not the men.

  • None says:

    I worked 9 months last year, but did not get a Christmas bonus while on maternity leave, can they do this

  • tracey aliphon says:

    Can I ask a question please. I had still born twins on 16/02/2015. I was then on maternity from 17/02/2015 to 31/05/2015. I returned to work as phased return sick line from doctor who deemed I could work 3 days a week due to a debility this lasted until the end of August. I commenced full time again on 01/09/2015. Our annual performance related bonus has come around for 2015 and I want to find out what I should be entitled to. My boss has mentioned it may be pro rated from October to December only (Oct as that’s when they set new 2015 objectives) but from what I have been reading I believe the first 2 weeks compulsory maternity should be included and then only the remainder of maternity up to 31st May? However I am unclear how my 2 days a week sick should be treated i.e. is it classed as a disability or sick just like a broken leg etc.
    We have only the statutory maternity pay entitlements.
    Appreciate your help.
    Kind Regards,

  • John barlow says:

    My company has a performance bonus at Christmas for the whole year it is not s just on the certain worker it’s based on the whole workforce and I injured myself at work and had 9 months off sick am I still entitled to it ?

  • Vicky says:

    Question for you: My maternity pay I have discovered is going to be assessed on the period of 26 September 2015 to 25 November 2015. My company have with-held a bonus on a travel booking that I have made during this period, claiming that I have not followed proper procedure. There is only an ‘investigation conversation’ ongoing and I have in writing that this is not a formal disciplinary. The reason for withholding the bonus (which directly affects my bonus pay for the months of October and November is that the client deposit was delayed and arrived 2 weeks later than expected, even though I had in writing from the client that the funds had been sent). I believe the company are delaying until after 7th December 2015 which is when the MatB1 form will be completed and the figures be assessed and that then they will ‘finish’ the investigation – thus leaving that bonus to be paid later in the year, deliberately attempting to ensure that it is not qualifying for the maternity pay assessment by delaying. Is this something I can contest and do you know how I can do this?
    Many thanks indeed
    Vicky

  • Viv says:

    Hi
    The company I work for are offering a one off non- contractual incentive scheme for staff who achieve a 100% attendance during December 2015, January, February and March 2016. I will be on maternity leave and unable to attend so will miss out on this bonus. Is this legal?
    Regards
    Viv

  • Jill Homan says:

    I have been advised my performance related bonus will be pro rata for 2015 (inc 2 weeks statutory leave) and pro rata for 2016. The performance year runs from January to December and my baby is due on 10 December 2015. I may need a c section before 10 December 2015 so would the company use the actual birth date plus 2 weeks statutory? Would my performance related bonus in 2016 be my return date which would probably be mid November as I am required to take the balance of my annual leave before returning and based on 2015 rating? In my last company I received the bonus for the whole year but didn’t take a full year off.

  • KATHRYN HUBBARD says:

    Please help.
    I am a Sales Manager and the first year I received non performance related sales bonus. The following year, i was on maternity leave and i had a call from my boss, which felt like the company had forgotten about me and he said that i did not get a sales bonus as the first one was non-precedential. He gave me a standard bonus of half the amount of the previous year. He assured me that going forward i would receive a sales bonus every year. This year, I noticed that letters were being delivered to certain people in the office by HR, and confronted my boss and asked if these were to do with bonuses. He said yes, but said that hardly anyone got anyone this year (in fact it was just myself and another lady, who did not get them in the office and we were the only two last year who were “forgotten” about). He has said that he will ask some questions and left it at that. I have been back from maternity leave for 4 months and have nothing in writing about these discretionary sales bonuses, but i was promised that i would have one every year. What should I do?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi I'm pregnant with my second child and I currently receive quarterly bonuses based on group targets for the department. Last time I was on maternity leave (a couple of years ago) I received the full bonuses on top of my SMP. Does this mean I would automatically be entitled to these on my new maternity leave?

    Editor: You should receive any performance-related bonus for periods you have worked and for the first two compulsory weeks of maternity leave. If the relevant period includes time you are on maternity as well as time you were in work it should be pro-rata'ed. But check your company's policy on bonuses too.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Thanks for your reply the bonus is based on targets from December to March – I returned to work in January so have been working towards the target for the bonus since then. But have been told the bonus I receive will be based on salary earned for last year which was only smp – even though I am working now and during the period the targets have been set for the current upcoming bonus.

    Editor: Do they have a written policy on bonuses? It should state what period the bonus covers and you should get a pro rata of whatever you have worked in that period. Did you get a bonus while you were on maternity leave for the previous period? I would definitely question this.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi
    I'm back at work after 9 months maternity leave. (I've worked for my employer for 6 years) I've been back now three months and the bonus time has now come round. Bonus has always been a set amount and then 4% of salary. The email I have now received says bonus is 4% salary earned – so they are basing my bonus on what I earned on SMP. Is this ok to do – this is how my bonus is going to be for every bonus coming up this year (every quarter) so seems quite unfair when I am working the same as my colleagues towards targets but won't receive the same bonus as I was on maternity last year.

    Editor: Could you explain a bit more? Have they changed the terms of their bonus policy without consultation? Is it based on last year's earnings or the previous quarter? Is it a performance-related bonus? Normally those on maternity leave do not qualify for a performance-related bonus except in the compulsory two weeks of maternity.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi,I was on maternity leave for a year and towards the end of my maternity leave the company I work for made a large number of redundancies. I was made redundant and paid my 5 weeks notice period so I never set foot back in the office. However I have since found that a number of women like me who were on maternity and made redundant received a portion of their maternity bonus even though they too did not return to work. I have contacted my former employer saying that if I knew that they would be paying the maternity bonus I would have returned to work for my notice period and even the AML period.They have told me that I am not eligible for even a pro rate bonus. I don't understand how this can be the case. Please help?

    Editor: How long ago did this occur and have you put the point to your employer that other women got the maternity bonus? 

  • Anonymous says:

    I do not wish to return to my job, however, I do have a 3 month notice period and under normal circumstances I would be put on garden leave with immediate effect. If I hand in my notice before returning to work, what are my employers obligations? Do they still continue to pay SMP? If I officially return to work but resign whilst on annual leave then do they have to honour the 3 month notice period and continue to pay me my monthly salary, or can they terminate my contract immediately? In my contract it states that if I serve notice on my employer prior to it being paid then my bonus for 2014 will not be payable – is this legal?

    Editor: You would still get your SMP, but your employer may pay any remaining amount in a lump sum. They may choose to negotiate to pay you in lieu of notice. With regard to the bonus, is this a performance-related bonus as normally you would only be entitled to a pro rata of any part of the year you were not on maternity leave bar the first two weeks which are compulsory in any event?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, I hope you can help me. I have been working for my company since April 2011. When I was approx 4 months pregnant I went on sick leave for 4 months due to pregnancy problems and my son was born 5 weeks early (Was due mid March).I then went on 12 month maternity leave in Feb 2014. In December 2014 my employer was giving bonuses for years of service and also for performance. I did not receive anything, not even explanation. I would like to know what are my rights and how to speak to my employer about it? My employer also refused that I take my full 2014 holiday entitlement straight after maternity leave without a reason. Thank you.

    Editor: Could you send more details about your employer's bonus scheme via our Advice & Support/Q & A page box? Is this related to a particular year or years? With regard to holiday entitlement, an employer can turn down a request for leave at a specific time for business reasons, but they must ensure that the accrued annual leave is granted. It is usually less disruptive if it is added to the beginning or end of maternity leave. What notice did you give about taking the leave?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, my employer asked me to formally handover my clients months before I went on maternity leave. Unfortunately this then affected my bonus because I had no clients upon which to write any business. They are now saying that the handover was because I was "too busy" and not because I was leaving that year, which is not true. Any thoughts?

    Editor: Are you on maternity leave now? Could you provide a few more details on when this took place and how many months into your pregnancy it happened, whether you questioned it at the time and if anything was said about it affecting your bonus at the time.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi
    I work as a contract caterer . A new contract was taken over July 2013. At Xmas we recieved a boys of vouchers . This year I'm on mat leave and all the managers had vouchers again this year but I didn't
    Can they do this ?
    Thanks

    Editor: How long have you been on maternity leave and is this a performance-related bonus?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi. Any advice regarding the following would be appreciated:

    My wife, with over 10 years service, has recently returned to work after being off on maternity for 11 months.

    Whilst she was off, her job was advertised as a permanent post under a more junior title but with the same responsibilities. A person was hired but resigned before my wife returned.

    Upon returning, she agreed with her employer that she would work a 4 day week and a new contract was issued. Like her previous contract, it stated that she would report direct to the managing director.

    However, she now finds herself in a position where all her business is now to be reported to another non executive director (peer) and that this director will sign of any commissions due. In all but title, she has been demoted.

    Upon returning she checked with the MD, finance and HR that her commission structure would remain the same as before maternity. All confirmed that it would. She has just completed her 1st full month and overachieved against both targets as per her commission structure. The company have chosen not to pay her commission. Upon speaking with payroll, they have advised her that they were instructed not to pay the commission by the director and that she ought to have been told prior to the payroll run. She is aware that other employees have been paid their commission and that even one of her employees, who had resigned, received his commission for the same period.

    I'm no legal expert but it appears to me that the other Director is discriminating against my wife by both advertising her job and now choosing to retrospectively and unilaterally remove/alter her commission structure.

    Is this legal? If not, what steps should be taken (ps, the MD was also aware that the commission was not going to be paid).

    Thanks in advance.

    Editor: Our HR expert Tara Daynes said: She would need to exhaust the internal channels for resolving any dispute before taking it externally so a grievance would be the next step. She is entitled to return to her previous position, or a similar one, so they can't advertise or give away her job while she is on leave, unless it is to cover her leave period. You mention a 'new contract' but that is inaccurate – she has had some terms & conditions changed, but is still on the same contract with the same start date for continuous service, so she doesn't have a new contract.

    I don't know whether the commission system in place is contractual or discretionary – if it is contractual they certainly can't just change it like that. But even if it is discretionary, they need to apply it fairly & consistently. So if she can show that she isn't being treated fairly compared to a male comparator, she could certainly have grounds for a discrimination claim.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi

    I am in a PRP scheme and 6 months before I was due to go on mat leave, I had my clients taken away from me. The verbal discussions between myself and my line manager was that I was given a reduced target as a result. However, now that my bonus statement has come through I see that they have calculated this not on the reduced target but on a pro rata'd standard bonus criteria, which means that I have fallen short of this target. Any thoughts?

    Editor: Have you asked them about their reasons for doing so? Did you have the agreement on the reduced target in writing? I would question this informally with your employer in the first instance and see what they say. It may be a genuine oversight.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, I am a temporary contract worker however as I have worked for my company for almost 2 years and within the 15 weeks before EWC, I am entitled maternity pay.However, as my contract is due to end at the end of the month (Nov 2014), I have been told as I am no longer considered an employee I will not be entitled to my bonus which is due in March of next year. I have actually worked very hard to achieve my goals and fulfil what was expected of me to get my bonus over the past 8 months. Just thought it was worth checking! Also, do I have to accept a lump sum payment as my contract is coming to an end or can I receive monthly payments?

    Thank you,
    Shiv

    Editor: Hi, can you provide more details via our Advice & Support/Q & A page box. For instance, are you talking about a performance-related bonus and what are the terms of that bonus? Normally, you should be entitled to a pro-rata amount up to when you start maternity leave, including the compulsory two weeks maternity leave after the baby is born. It is quite normal for employers to pay, eg, SMP, in a lump sum when someone leaves. You can claim any extra tax back – see https://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/q-and-a/all/761196/redundancy-money-on-maternity-leave-ask-the-expert.thtml

  • Anonymous says:

    Hello, I was in maternity leave last year from September
    Until April this year. Before I went on leave my boss said that there would be a discretionary
    Christmas bonus and I was on the list. I didn't receive it and my boss since left before I returned.

    I didn't query it before because as we haven't had bonus's for a few years prior I just assumed that they did not go ahead as she had hoped. However I recently found out people on my team did receive a bonus – in fact the woman who took over my role received a bonus for her work. I have always gone above and beyond and been well respected so I can only assume this is because I was on maternity leave they didn't pay me anything even pro rats (it related to the whole year). I am a senior member of staff and feel very offended by this. Especially as nothing was communicated. I feel awkward brining it up however as I only know about it from team members letting slip about their bonuses.

    Should I raise this now or is it too late?

    Thank you!

    Editor: If it is a performance-related bonus, normally you would be entitled to a pro-rata amount for the time you were in work and the first two weeks after your baby was born. It might be worth querying why you didn't get it in relation to this year's bonus.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi I wonder if you can help me. In 2013 I was on maternity Leave from January until end of September i then – came back part-time. The company have a performance related bonus at the beginning of the year my target bonus was based on my full-time salary and then the target was reduced when I returned back from mat leave. Our bonus is paid the following year in April. I'm very upset as when I received my bonus it was 100% of my p/t target and I feel that this is incorrect as although I was on maternity from Jan-Sept I was still f/t. Should the company not have paid part based on my full time hours and then part on my part-time hours?

    Editor: Can you clarify that you are being paid a performance-related bonus covering the period you were on maternity leave? 

  • Anonymous says:

    I am a teacher on maternity and the school is looking at performance for pay progression. I would have been eligible to progress if I had been at work. My question is, should I still be considered for progression even though I was not at work for the academic year performance is being considered against and should my performance in the time leading up to my maternity not be considered instead?

    Editor: Can you write via our Advice & Support/Q & A page box with more information on performance for pay progression? Are you basically talking about performance-related pay?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, this is the second time I've been on maternity. The first time I remember the payroll team mentioning a law (a woman's name I can't remember), where if you received a bonus before the start of your maternity, then that amount will be paid again in your maternity pay during bonus time if you're still on mat leave during that period. We have a new payroll team in the firm, not as helpful as last time and I don't think they've taken my bonus into consideration this time around. Do you know the name of the law so that I can query this with them? Many thanks.

    Editor: What kind of bonus are you talking about? A performance-related one? What period would it cover if so – the period before maternity leave? Can you give more details.

  • Anonymous says:

    I was on maternity leave for bonus year 2012 – 2013. I received a massively reduced bonus when I returned from maternity leave in 2014. There was no mention in the company handbook nor was I informed that my bonus would be pro-rated. Also my contract of employment states I am entitled to participate in the bonus scheme. Bonuses are based on individual performance/department performance and company profitability. 2013 was an exceptional year. Is it fair that my bonus was massively reduced. Thanks for your help.

    Editor: If the bonus is performance related it may be reduced pro-rata for any time spent on maternity leave during the bonus period. However, the two-week compulsory maternity leave period must be treated as time worked for this purpose.

  • Anonymous says:

    Even though it states I should receive a letter and sign into the terms but have had no letter. Can I negotiate paying it back as could not afford it in one month.

    Editor: You could try to negotiate staggered payments.

  • Anonymous says:

    Please can you help I want to leave the company I am working at I received a return to work bonus and the contract states I should have a letter to sign stating the bonus terms which is if I leave before 12 months I pay it back. They gave me the bonus but no letter and i have not signed anything. Do I have to pay it.

    Editor: If the bonus is conditional on you returning to work and this is written into company policy then you would have to pay it back.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, I came back to work in January and our firm states in the mat policy that if you resign before 6 months then you need to pay 50% back. Is this legally binding and can they do this.

    Editor: Are you talking about enhanced maternity pay, rather than SMP? If so if it is written in their maternity policy then it is legally binding.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, can you help??
    I get a bonus each month, which has been paid during my mat leave up until this month. The company have changed the bonus scheme and I had not been informed. Can they do this without telling me?? Thanks

    Editor: Employers should consult with employees if they change bonus schemes.

  • Anonymous says:

    The bonus is performance related and the bonus period was jan-dec last year (it is always paid in april ofvthe following year). i received a performance review letter detailing my bonus amount for last year and salary increase as normal and have no issue with how this amount has been worked out. what i dont underdtand is why i havent recieved my SMP payment as well as the bonus as i thought they were unrelated? i want to make sure im correct before i raise this.

    Editor: It should not impact on your SMP. SMP is based on average weekly earnings in the eight weeks leading up to the 26th week of your pregnancy. It is only if you received the bonus in your take-home pay in the eight weeks that it would be taken into account and it would then mean your SMP would be higher – see http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/statutory-maternity-pay-how-it-is-worked-out

  • Anonymous says:

    hi. i am 30 weeks onto my mat leave so should still be receiving SMP. i know when i was receiving full pay (1st 18 weeks), this is described as 'inclusive of SMP' . is it the same for this bonus payment or should i have received SMP as well (as the bonus period was last year).?

    Editor: Could you explain a little more about what this bonus is for and what period it covers?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi. I am currently on maternity leave. my period of full pay has ended and i am being paid SMP. I have received my bonus payment this month for the bonus period jan-dec last year (when i was still in work) but i have not received the SMP. is this correct?

    Editor: Can you explain a bit more? How far into your maternityleave are you? You are entitled to 39 weeks' SMP. If you have not received 39 weeks of SMP you should contact your employer to find out why.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, I worked for a company and got a bonus in 2009, but the company find out now that they loss in that year instead of profit. the main reason was the company's finance manager who give the wrong income statement so he can take the bonus as well. now they company is forcing me to pay back the bonus I received from the company. please advise…. ?

    Editor: Could you send more details via our Advice & Support/Q & A page box and one of our employment lawyers can help.

  • Anonymous says:

    But I should start receiving it once I'm back to work?

    Editor: Does everyone else get it? If nothing else has changed, I would query this with your manager.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi I recently finished maternity leave and went back to work full time, before I went on maternity I got a monthly bonus percentage of what we made each month and extra if we hit a target, should I still be entilted to this? As I haven't received it!

    Editor: If this is a performance-related bonus, you would normally only be entitled to if for the compulsory first two weeks of maternity leave and not for the rest of your maternity leave until you return.

  • Anonymous says:

    I would like to understand where I stand. I am currently on maternity, in my contract it states that bonus will be continued to be paid whilst on maternity leave. My bonus is made up of two parts – company and performance .

    Firstly my employee confirmed I would be prorated to the months I worked. Then when I questioned it they came back to say they would pay company (which is what my contract refers to under bonus) but prorate the performance individual.

    However the contract nor bonus scheme wording distinguishes between the two elements it just simply states bonus will continue to be paid. There is no mention that performance related will be prorated. In addition 3 employees the previous year were given full bonus for full year whilst on maternity for both company and performance without quibble. No wording or contract change has taken place between those employees getting bonus and myself going on maternity. Do I have a case based on previous trends and unclear definition in my contract? Many thanks

    Editor: Performance-related bonuses are usually pro-rata'd for when you were in work, but should include the first two weeks of mat leave, but if you got it before you should query it directly with your employer.

  • Anonymous says:

    My maternity pay starts today I get 10 weeks full pay then it goes onto statutory maternity pay and our bonus is due every year in September and I'm not going back to work until jan 2015 so will I get my full bonus.

    Editor: If it is a performance-related bonus relating to a period you were on maternity leave you would generally only get a pro rata amount relating to the period before you went on leave and the first two weeks of your maternity leave. 

  • Anonymous says:

    Sorry my bonus is performance based on the whole factory am I still intitalled to the full amount as everyone else there.

    Editor: It depends on what period this covers. Does it include the period when you were on maternity leave? Please read the advice above.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hiya I have just started my maternity and I have worked in a factory for the past 6 years we get paid our bonus in September am I entitled to my usual full bonus or will it be less it is made up of the whole plant performance so it's not paid as an individual.

    Editor: You would need to give more details about the type of bonus it is. Is it performance related? See all the information above about bonuses.

  • Anonymous says:

    Apologies I meant if I sent a copy of the contract and policy could they confirm if the way it is written I am contractually obliged to pay back maternity pay and bonus in addition to maternity pay.

    Thanks

    Editor: Yes, a lawyer could do this, but they are likely to charge. You could send the wording – if it is not too long – on the bonus part to check if it is part of the maternity package via mandy@workingmums.co.uk.

  • Anonymous says:

    If I were to send a copy of my contract and maternity policy to a legal firm would they be able to advise if this is contractually binding?

    I don't want to raise it with HR as it would cause some issues for me with my boss if I were to ask!

    Thanks a lot!

    Editor: I don't understand the question. If it is a contract it is contractually binding.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, I have been back at work 6months and am looking into leaving as the company has been restructured and whilst my job title hasn't changed due to there being less resources the workload and type of work I am doing has.

    My company offer a generous maternity package including 6months full pay and bonus (they calculate the incentive based on a mix of actual performance for months worked combined with average score for time on maternity leave).

    I am looking to leave but the policy states under Method of Payment For Company Maternity Pay: if I "terminate my employment within one year I am contractually obliged to refund the Company any outstanding payment pro rata. The employee will not be required to pay back any statutory maternity payments."

    Would I have to pay back my bonus too or just salary? Also, I receive company car downgrade payment would this also have to be paid back along with any pension contributions?

    Thanks a lot

    Editor: You would have to check with your HR department as the stipulations of each contractual package vary. If the bonus is part of the contractual maternity package you might have to pay it back. Usually it only refers to contractual pay on top of SMP, but you state that the bonus is part of the maternity package. Other benefits such as pensions would be outside the maternity package.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, I had a bonus paid whilst on mat leave and since returning heard we were due another but I did not receieve it. When I questioned why I was given this answer.

    We have had confirmation that states you must be in work at least 50% of the quarter in which the bonus is paid.
    (This is including employees on Maternity Leave- it is not a contractual bonus).

    Thus depending on when the employees went off on Maternity will depend if they qualify, they must have a t least 50 % attendance to qualify.

    We are currently in Q4 now so I’ve attached them too as there is at least one change.

    So why did I get one whilst off? Can they do this? I think they have changed the small print to exclude me?

    Many thanks Kelly

    Editor: You would need to address this to your HR department.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have a question. My company pays a discretionary bonus and since I began at the company I was receiving a bonus of about 25 percent each year. In 2011 I went on maternity leave and for that year I received the standard 25 percent bonus. On returning to work in 2012 I received a bonus of a similar percentage but pro- rated. Since going back to work I work 4 days a week instead of 5, have been given more responsibilities, and have met all my objectives. This year I received a bonus of 10 percent. As this is discretionary I have no way of knowing whether this is the same for everyone else, although I suspect not. Do you have any advice?

    Editor: You need to ask your manager why there is a discrepancy in the bonus. That sounds like a big drop if you have only gone down one day a week.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, perhaps you can help me – my company pay bonuses based on company performance and that is on your base salary (a%).. this year the company performed well and the bonus was 14% – they have given me the bonus as a pro rata bonus stating that due to my reduced attendance it has been reduced. My attendance was reduced due to maternity leave. My bonus is not performance or attendance related to the individual, if the company performs, we all get it. I received one last year and although I had been on maternity leave then as well it had not been pro-rata. This year the only difference is I have raised a grievance and ET claim for sex discrimination, I now feel they are victimising me based on that. So, my question is, as I received a non pro-rata bonus last year and the bonus is not individually related surely I am entitled to a full bonus this year and not doing so has only strengthened my case of sex discrimination?

    Editor: If the bonus is part of your T&Cs, they can't mess about with how they choose to pay it, & there should certainly be some detail around how it is calculated in the event of any kind of absence or leave.If it is discretionary, then the organisation has more flexibility around how they do this. It could be worth arguing that if it has been calculated in a particular way previously, then this constitutes custom & practice & so they should either do the same, or make it a formal change with consultation & notice etc.

    If you are at a detriment compared to other people who have had time off but not on mat leave (eg sickness absence) then she could possibly claim discrimination, but you would need more detailed legal advice.

  • Anonymous says:

    Please help, I have returned to work after maternity leave, a friend mentioned to me that a friend of hers received a bonus after 6 months of returning to work. Is there a bonus given to mums that return to work? I don't think it's by the employer, if there is who provides it how can I apply for it?

    Editor: There is no bonus. Individual employers may pay a return to work bonus, but it is not common.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi there, I have worked for my company for nearly 9 years and started statutory adoption leave on the 16th Dec 2013 (took 3 weeks annual leave before this)… We receive a discretionary bonus in December for that year (the whole company) -this was delayed until this month this year so that my employer could avoid paying another lady on maternity leave (leaving date was beginning of Jan).. Everyone has been paid the same amount but I have been paid nothing…I have emailed the owner of the business to ask why – but am being ignored .. What can I do?

    Editor:  If the bonus relates to work you did before you went on maternity leave, you would be entitled to this, regardless of the fact that you were absent on maternity leave when the payment was actually due. However, if the bonus relates to work that would have been done during your maternity leave had you not been absent, then you are not entitled to the payment. It will not be discriminatory to reduce an annual bonus on a pro rata basis to take into account the period over which you were absent from work on maternity leave. Wait to hear your owner's reply, but if there is no response through informal channels when you have pointed out the law regarding such bonuses, you could consider taking out a grievance.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you.

    According to the company policy (quoted below), it looks like maternity leave should count as service but they are ignoring it:

    "Periods of maternity leave and maternity absence are regarded as continuous service for the purpose of calculating entitlements to employment benefits"
    "Women are protected from unfair treatment due to pregnancy, childbirth or taking maternity leave"

    I shall certainly ask to clarify this. Should they still refuse to grant it, do you think I have ground for making an official complaint?

    Editor: If they cannot clarify it and you are not satisfied with their answer, you could lodge a grievance.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you for replying so quickly.

    No, they haven't explained why but I know for sure that another colleague who was away on maternity leave (and also a few weeks short from the 6 months) got it pro rata. She chose to take only 6 months maternity leave but this personal decision shouldn't affect the benefit to which all employees are entitled, shouldn't it?

    This bonus is based on individual performances for the past year, 2013. Because my performance was very good they are justifying the whole story with the 6 months criteria. There is a lot of inconsistency considering that they granted it to someone else and I feel discriminated.
    Shall I follow up with a formal email?

    Editor: What do they mean by service? You are still employed while on maternity leave and are entitled to other benefits, such as annual leave for this reason. Does it specifically state in their policy that maternity leave is not counted as 'service'? You need to clarify this. 

  • Anonymous says:

    I have been working for my company since June 2008. At the end of March 2012 I started my maternity leave and returned (on a part time basis of 2 days a week) after 12 months on 19th April 2013 (although I took a few days off from my holiday entitlement and physically returned in the office on the 30th April).

    Following the annual reviews which took place in October-November, the year-end performance based bonuses have now been granted to my colleagues.

    Bonus rewards are based on individual performances and their contributions to the business and the organisation, calculated based on basic salary during the financial year to the end of September 2013 (pro rata for staff who joined us during 2012-2013 or with excessive absence due to sick leave). Bonuses apply to all permanent members of staff who have completed the required length of service (6 months) during 2012-13.

    I have been denied my bonus on the basis that I do not meet the 6 months service (starting from 1st April 2013). Technically, counting from the 1st April, I am 14 days short (or 5 days, if we consider only the days I work) and I feel this is really unfair, especially considering that a colleague in a similar situation has received it pro rata (she was 2 weeks short).

    I have already questioned it and they keep saying that, despite my performance being great, I do not meet the 6 months criteria. I have asked several time to receive my bonus pro rata, but I am not getting anywhere.

    I wanted to ask whether it is at the company's discretion or if I am being discriminated for being on maternity.

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Editor: Bonuses encompass a wide range of purposes and can be discretionary or non-discretionary. Like incentives, they may be used in an attempt to directly influence employee performance or behaviour to meet pre-set objectives – but they could also be used on a more ad hoc or retrospective basis to reward past performance.

    Even if it is at the company's discretion, it seems unfair that your colleague has got it and is in a similar situation. Have they explained why this is?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi,

    My maternity leave finishes this week and I am then taking 4 weeks holiday- should my bonus be paid from the start of my holiday or the end if it?

    Editor: You will be back on your normal salary from when your holiday begins, but it would depend on the terms of the bonus and what it covers. Is it for work completed? Normally bonuses are not paid during maternity leave because maternity pay is not counted as salary so bonuses would kick back in, depend on the terms of a particular bonus, once you started to receive your regular salary.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi. I started working for my company 12/05/2013. On 12/24/13, the employer added an additional $300.00 onto their payroll check as a christmas bonus. Sadly to say, I did not receive one. Prior to the days before the bonus, I asked my supervisor about me being a new employee, will I receive a x-mas bonus. His response were yes due to the fact I am considered a full-time employee. Also within the handbook, it states nothing about christmas bonus as well as how long you have to work there to receive one. I do not understand. I received holiday pay so I feel that I should have received a x-mas bonus.

    Editor: You need to query this with your manager. Are you based in the US?

  • Anonymous says:

    Basically it is part of my maternity pay. 2 years ago I was on Mat leave and was paid 6 weeks 90%, 12 week's half pay and the statutory. However some ppl didn't return to work after Mat leave and had yo pay the 12 week's back which is why now they don't pay this until we go back to work so they call it a return to work bonus.

    As the company made me redundant and I had every plan to go back to work, should I be given this?

    Editor: I'm afraid you would not be entitled to the bonus, only SMP.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am in Mat leave however got made redundant on Friday. On returning to work which would have been July 2014, I would gave been given a return to work bonus which was made up of 12 weeks 50% pay of which I accrued whilst on Mat leave. However, my company state I am not allowed this now due to me being made redundant- all of which was not my fault.

    What are my rights? Should I be entitled to this?
    I also wanted to do my keeping in touch days, but I can't now. Could you get the money for this?

    Editor: According to your contract, do you accrue the bonus while you are away and does it cover the period up to July 2014 or does it relate to the period before you went on maternity leave?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi,

    I also have a question about this. I am currently on maternity leave and due to return on the 1st of November. There is a discretionary non contractual bonus/incentive taking place during the last quarter of the year. This bonus is related to reaching very specific targets.

    Any new employees who start after 1 october aren't eligible for this bonus.

    My employer has said that I am also not eligivle vecause I was not there on 1 october. I will hawever be present for 2 out of the 3. Had I not been on maternity leave I would qualify. I will have time to meet the performance related conditions in the lat 2 months.

    Should I be eligible for this bonus?

    Editor: If a bonus relates to a period of time which includes a period of maternity leave then employers must make a payment on a proportionate or pro-rata basis to reflect the proportion of the time when the employee was:

    • working
    • on compulsory maternity leave the period immediately following the birth)
    • suspended on pregnancy or maternity grounds.

    It does not matter whether the bonus is contractual or discretionary.

    This may mean that employers have to make an assessment of the employee's performance over a shorter period of time than would normally be the case.

    Performance measures such as sales targets or achievement objectives are typically set at the beginning of the year on the assumption that the employee will be at work for the whole year. Where the payment of bonus is dependent on the employee achieving such targets/objectives, employers need to adjust them downwards or judge what the employee's performance would have been had she been at work.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, I work 3 days a week and my colleague is 5 days a week. We are given a bonus with a target that we jointly achieve (50% of total sales are mine, 50% his.) and are given a cash value if achieved. However they want to pro rata my bonus total to 3/5's as I only work 3 days a week even though I achieve 50% of the sales. But they have not pro-rated the target for me: it is the same as my full time colleague. Is this legal? It is a discretionary bonus rather than contractual.

    Editor: Our lawyer says it sounds discriminatory, but she cannot say for certain without more information, eg, on what your contract says. Would you be able to send further information via our Advice & Support/Q & A page box?

  • Anonymous says:

    I receive a monthly bonus for being a senior with extra responsibilities. This was put in place instead of giving a higher hourly rate (as that would cost more with overtime). The bonus is paid when I am on holiday and when I am off sick. Should I be entitled to it when on maternity or does it come under a contractual bonus? Thank you.

    Editor: You would not get it during the maternity period except pro rata for the first two compulsory weeks, but it should have been taken into account in calculating your SMP if you were receiving it in the eight weeks leading up to your 26th week of pregnancy.

  • Anonymous says:

    My employer issues all members of staff a flat rate bonus if profit targets are met each month and it goes to all members of staff and is not individually performance related. Would I be entitled to still receive this whilst on maternity leave?

    Editor: This area is fairly complicated. If the bonus is paid regularly it is likely that it counts as a contractual bonus. If the bonus relates to a certain time period, eg, profit over a month or year you are entitled to this on a pro-rata basis for the period immediately before you went on maternity leave and for the two weeks of compulsory maternity leave and for when you return. See http://www.supportequalpay.co.uk/MaternityLeave.aspx

  • Anonymous says:

    Hello just wondered if you could help. I have just gone back to work after 12 months maternity leave which I started in April 2012. Each year we recieve a performance-related pay increase around May. The figures have just been released so I asked my manager if I would get mine based on 2012 to 2013 performance. She said I would not get anything as I have been off for the past 12 months and they have no figures to rate me. Can you confirm this is ok for them to do or not?

    Editor: If it is performance related then you would not get it if you were off work for the entire period. You would only get it pro-rata'd for the period you were at work.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, I work in a betting shop. We have 6 monthly bonuses if we achieve and exceed the targets, now it says to qualify for the bonus you must not have had time off (other than holidays). If you have had 1 week off you lose 25% of the bonus, 2 weeks off 50% of bonus, 3 weeks off 75% of bonus and 4 or more weeks you will not recieve a bonus. These do not have to be consecutive weeks, it means time off in total within 6 months. Now this bonus period started in October. I went on maternity leave in November and I am still currently on maternity leave. I have worked all 10 kit days, my question is will I receive any bonus as I have obviously had more than 4 weeks off and nowhere on or in any handbooks does it have any advice on maternity leave and pay. Obviously I will feel cheated if I do not recieve the bonus as I would have ordinarily been at work. Can you tell me if I should receive it or not. 

    Editor: Normally, performance-related bonuses are related to your being present during the period in question and on maternity leave you would only be considered on a pro rata basis for the first two compulsory weeks of your maternity leave. You need to check this with your HR department, however.

     

  • Anonymous says:

    I am due to go on maternity leave at the end of June. I work at a university and am paid a bonus dependent on the number of my students that will register in September. We are paid on a tier system i.e. For every 100 students registered I will receive £10, 101-180 students – £20. I currently have more students than my colleagues expected to register in September but these statistics will change after I go on maternity leave. Can I have my bonus reflect the pro-rata tier system for the time I am in work? I am worried that if I do not reach the requisite amount of students before the end of June that I will receive nothing. I have not received a response to any emails I sent to my manager. I was discriminated by the same employer a couple of years ago regarding my bonus and now wish to have everything confirmed prior to going on maternity leave. This tier system bonus is in writing as part of a retention scheme due to be made redundant at the end of October. Thank you, I will appreciate any advice you can offer.

    Editor: If the bonus is related to performance you should get it for the time before you go on maternity leave and the first two weeks of maternity leave which are compulsory on a pro rata basis.

  • Anonymous says:

    HI – Since I have been on maternity leave I was informed that I would not be entitled to the discretionary bonus. This bonus is based on the store I work at achieving bonus due to sales targets being achieved. Our employee handbook states that I should be entitled to the payment as do our 2012/13 rules on bonus payments. I am not aware of any communications being sent out informing me otherwise. Do I have a case worth pursuing…initially by raising a formal grievance etc? Thanks.

    Editor: Without knowing the detail, if you believe that what they are saying goes against what is written in your contract/the employee handbook then it is definitely worth raising this, perhaps informally first and then, if you don't get a satisfactory answer, through a grievance. Women on maternity leave are excluded from most bonuses related to performance while they are away except for the first two compulsory weeks of leave, but if your handbook says otherwise it is definitely worth pursuing.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hello. I recently enquired whether I am entitled to a bonus in my employment contract of 1% of the department I worked for's turnover. The response I received seems ambiguous and refers to the amount of time in the year I have been on maternity leave. Does the length of time on maternity leave affect what I thought was a clear unambiguous amount? I look forward to hearing!

    Editor: See https://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/all/888103/bonuses-and-maternity-leave-ask-the-expert.thtml

  • Anonymous says:

    I hope you can help! I am currently on maternity leave as of 3rd August 2012 and I have a contractural bonus of 1% of the department's annual turnover which runs from May to May every year. Do I qualify for it whilst I am on maternity leave or for just the months before I started my SMP? Not sure of my rights and I need to approach work as the year is up soon, May 2013.
     

    Editor: Your employer must pay you any contractual bonus payment awarded to you during your maternity leave period, or that would have been awarded had you not been on maternity leave. However, when your employer works out your bonus, the actual time during which you are on maternity leave will not generally be included, except for the two weeks of compulsory maternity leave.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am currently working on a maternity cover contract. I started working for my employer on the 16th August 2012, and I am due to finish on the 28th June 2013 when the lady on maternity leave returns. My due date is 30th September 2013 so I think my qualifying week should be the 17th June 2013 when I will still be working for the same employer. Am I right in thinking I do qualify for SMP or does the fact that I won't have a job to come back to mean I don't? Please help, thanks.

    Editor: If you were working for your employer from just before you got pregnant and are still there during your qualifying week you will get SMP even if you subsequently leave your job. SMP is not dependent on you returning to the same job.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, can you help? My company pays a performance related bonus every year. I have been off for most of last year on maternity leave and sickness due to post natal depression. I have been advised that I am not entitled to the bonus for the maternity leave or the sickness. Is this discrimination?

    Editor: For performance-related bonuses may be reduced pro-rata for any time spent on maternity leave during the bonus period. However, the two-week compulsory maternity leave period must be treated as time worked for this purpose so you would be covered pro-rata for any time worked and the two-week compulsory period only. This may not work out at very much money, depending on the original bonus.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, I have a discretionary bonus scheme at work – 50% of it is determined by the company profit figure over a 12-month period (Jan to Dec) and 50% is determined by my personal objectives. I returned to work from maternity leave in July 2012 (after 12 months mat leave). Should I receive my bonus for the 12 months of 2012 or pro rata from July 2012?

    Editor: See https://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/all/888103/bonuses-and-maternity-leave-ask-the-expert.thtml 

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, I am wondering if you are able to assist. Each Christmas our company give the entire workforce vouchers as a discretionary non-contractual bonus. In 2012, non of the members of staff on maternity leave received these vouchers. However in previous years these vouchers were given to staff on maternity leave. Having questioned the company, they have advised that it is at their discretion if they give the vouchers to maternity leavers and this year they decided not to. Is this correct? I feel that we should not have been excluded when the entire workforce has received the vouchers and they have been paid to maternity leavers in previous years. Your advice would be very much appreciated. Kind regards

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, I am hoping you can help me with this query. I worked for a high profile events company up until September (the majority of contracts came to an end after the close of the event this summer) we were all made redundant and received a redundancy payment, as we knewwere to be the case. My issue however is with the discretionary bonus payment awarded. My role was as a full time and permanent member of staff. My contract made reference to bonuses but in very general terms and referred to a policy document, which I was never handed nor saw. When I fell pregnant I was given the maternity/paternity policy document, which stated that in some cases people on maternity/paterniy leave, ‘may’ subjected to a pro rata bonus. I am dismayed to find that all of my colleagues received a bonus from March- September of 10% of their annual salary, which is quite sustancial, however I only received a bonus from March up until the date my maternity leave started (the end of April). I feel I was discriminated against whilst still at work by my line manager for taking time for hospital appointments and I worked exremely long hours and travelling across London to meetings, despite having what was deemed as a ‘high risk’ pregnancy.I have had to repeatedly seek information and contact or responses from HR trying to get any answers or be included in end of work celebrations or awards nd they have been very vague with this matter- only telling me to refer to their FAQs document and maternity policy. I do not feel that people on maternity leave should be excluded from bonuses and/or benefits and I would be grateful for your opinion please. Many thanks

    Editor: See our lawyer’s response here 

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, I wonder if you could help me. This year, all employees of the company I work for recieved a letter stating that we would not be recieving a pay rise, intead a bonus was to be given in July and December. This bonus was £200 for all full time employees who remained in position for the 6 months leading up to the bonus. Part time employees would recieve a proportion of the bonus depending on their hours. I have been on maternity leave since the end of December last year (with a period of statutory sick leave then annual leave immediately preceding this). I am fairly sure the letter stated that employees who were on maternity leave would recieve the bonus, however i have not recieved anything (I can’tfind the letter at present). Am I entitled to a bonus? If I am wrong about the letter mentioning staff on maternity leave would that affect my entitlement? Many thanks.

    Editor: If the letter states that people on maternity leave are included then you should have received your bonus. It may be an oversight so it is worth checking with payroll. Otherwise, the link here should give you more information on bonuses and maternity leave – https://www.workingmums.co.uk/advice-and-support/all/888103/bonuses-and-maternity-leave-ask-the-expert.thtml 

  • Anonymous says:

    Hello. Can I ask a question. I received a basic bonus in April (for the previous year). I went on maternity leave end of February. Previous years I have received above basic.

    I work in HR in an admin role and therefore have access to pay / bonus information. A lot of other people have received above basic bonus and I beleive if I was in work at time of payment I would have received too.

    I haven’t mentioned to my HR Manager yet as I am only doing one day a week keeping in touch days and I have been unsure on whether to ‘rock the boat’.

    Do you think I should say sonething and ask why I only received a basic bonus? I had some time off sick, pregnancy related. But I also went above my role in training and mentoring an apprentice. I was also signed off sick before maternity leave started but worked from home for them to handover to my maternity cover and be available for advice. Also my maternity leave has contacted me lots whilst I have been on leave for help and advice.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Our HR expert Tara Daynes replies:

    Firstly, never worry about ‘rocking the boat’ – any decent employer should encourage people to ask questions on anything they are unclear about. As long as you frame it as a genuine query and not a belligerent accusation, I’m sure there will be no unpleasant repercussions!
    And simply asking the question would be the most obvious thing to do here. There may be a valid reason, or it could be a simple error, but you’ll never know unless you flag it up. If you have been denied the bonus, you have every right to request reasons for that, and to challenge it if you feel their decision is wrong. Again, don’t be too militant about it if you are concerned about damaging your working relationships – just be reasonable in asking for help to understand why the decision was made, especially if this is inconsistent with previous years or other staff.
    Who knows, it could just be a mistake that needs rectifying – so you have nothing to lose  everything to gain by checking!

  • says:

    Can I ask a question please? I am currently on maternity leave and May is bonus month and I haven’t received it. My question is when I was on maternity leave a few years ago I received it and this time I haven’t. The bonus ‘rules’, so to speak, haven’t changed and everyone other than myself who is on matenity leave has received it. Where do I stand?

    Thanks.

    Editor’s note: It sounds as if you should have received it. Do you mean other people on maternity leave have got it this month? Have you asked why you haven’t? It may be an error. Check this first before taking any other action. If you have any legal questions, please go to our Advice & Support section and fill in the box for our experts there.


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