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Pay cut while pregnant

(13 Posts)
CrossAndPregnant Fri 01-Feb-13 11:36:04

I am pregnant and have told work. I work for an organisation where a significant part of my annual compensation is paid through a discretionary bonus. This year I was told that this would be cut significantly effectively meaning that my overall compensation for the year would be reduced by 11%. When I asked why I was told it was only a small decrease and the rationale was that they could hire people more cheaply else where to do the same job as me. Later I emailed my boss to say that I had calculated it was actually not a small decrease but 11% had there been a mistake. That was yesterday and he has not replied. I am not supposed to discuss compensation at work but judging from the reactions around me I guess that of the team of five men with whom I work one has been treated in the same way as me but the others have not. Does any one know what if anything I can do about this? Thanks very much for any advice.

Well, if one of the men has had the discretionary bonus cut too then it's not exclusively down to your pregnancy.

Are any of the other 4 men doing the same as you ?

CrossAndPregnant Fri 01-Feb-13 11:47:39

Yes we are all employed to do the same job though one is a manager. We all have the same job title apart from the manager but have been working on different projects. The guy who has had his pay cut has been working on similar things to me. The observation that we could be replaced by cheaper people from elsewhere which is the only reason I have been given so far would be equally likely to be true for at least two of the other three.

CrossAndPregnant Fri 01-Feb-13 11:51:01

I suppose I am wondering whether I have a right to know whether my pay has been cut more than other members of the team and if so what the reason is behind it.

CrossAndPregnant Fri 01-Feb-13 11:55:42

And I'm cross because I feel insulted and let down after working for these people for nearly ten years. My reaction is to want to go out there and look for a new job but I cant because I am pregnant. I suppose I just want to find out if I have any options other than putting up with it for the next few months and then looking for some thing new while on mat leave.

It's difficult if you can't ask them whether their pay has been similarly cut. I'm not sure how you'd prove it was related to your pregnancy.

HOpefully a legal bod will be along soon.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Fri 01-Feb-13 12:04:14

When you say you are not supposed to discuss comp at work, has this been said to you, is it on your handbook, your contract etc. ?

you would need to see the wording in your contract / bonus policy and see if it has been applied consistently to all of them....and then also find out what people have received. This might not be easy! Bonus policies are almost always discretionary, which means that a huge cut may well be appropriate and legal.

CrossAndPregnant Fri 01-Feb-13 12:15:04

I cant find anything in the staff handbook about not discussing compensation. All it says about the bonus in there is that it partly depends on performance. At my review I was classed as a good / strong performer but not an exceptional one. That has been the same for years. Tea room chat from a guy I know well from another team is that across the board pay has been cut a lot for a few staff and left the same for the rest. His assumption and mine too would be that they have selected the people they would like to get rid of and reduced their pay to below market rates in the hope that they will leave of their own accord with no need for any payouts.

CrossAndPregnant Fri 01-Feb-13 12:18:59

I will check my contract tonight. From memory however it is extremely vague about the basis on which any discretionary awards are made. Mine has until this year been paid consistently so as to leave my overall comp the same or higher.

babybarrister Fri 01-Feb-13 15:43:36

There are some recent cases on this - have a google of discretionary bonus and discrimination

CrossAndPregnant Sat 02-Feb-13 12:56:57

Bumping. In case anyone has any more advice. Thanks.

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