Should my commission be pro-rata’d if I reduce my hours?

I have asked my employer if I can reduce my working hours down from 37.5 to 27.5 a week still over five days . I have been told that it would be pro-rata for holidays etc which is fine. However I have also been told that my commission rate will also drop pro-rata, eg if my hours , holidays and salary drop by 80% so does my commission rate, the reason being when I’m not there other colleagues may process sales on my behalf by taking a card payment. Is this right?

I understand that you have requested to reduce your working hours to 80% of your current level and that your employer has agreed to this subject to your holidays, pay and commission also being reduced.  In terms of your commission, your employer has confirmed that the level at which you will start earning commission will be reduced to 80% of the current level, but that the amount of commission you can receive will also be reduced as now your colleagues will have to assist with part of the sale.

It is difficult to advise with absolute certainty without having sight of the terms of the bonus/commission scheme.  Furthermore, you do not say whether your full-time colleagues also get help with their sales and whether this affects their commission levels too.  However, and in general terms, if your full-time colleagues get help in finalising sales but their commission levels remain unaffected, then you may be able to claim that you are suffering a detriment as a direct result of working part time.  Even if your full-time colleagues do not get help with finalising the sales, then there is an argument to say that the only reason you may need some help on occasion is because you are part time and therefore the detriment you are suffering is linked to your part-time status.

My suggestion would first be to discuss your concerns with your line manager informally and express your concerns that you are being placed at a disadvantage as a result of your part-time status and ask that your commission level, once you reach the threshold, stays the same.  If this is not successful, I would advise raising a grievance on the basis that your employer may be in breach of the Part-Time Workers Regulations in an effort to try and reach a resolution.  You may ultimately need to consider an Employment Tribunal claim if you don’t get anywhere and are losing out on commission, but I would recommend you take legal advice before embarking on this final step.

*Lucy Flynn assisted in answering this question.

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