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Quick question about bonuses while on ML

(10 Posts)
DancingThroughLife Wed 08-Dec-10 23:20:31

I've just found out that while I've been on Maternity Leave, everyone at work has received a bonus.

It's a bonus paid to everyone if the company meets its quarterly target. It's only happened in one quarter this financial year.

As I understood it, during the first 26 weeks of ML, I would be entitled to the same 'benefits' as if I were in the office (so holidays, medical cover and bonuses).

I'll be speaking to them tomorrow anyway, but should I be asking for this money?


muminlondon Wed 08-Dec-10 23:44:07

Does it relate to a period you actually worked? Then you would have a case for at least a pro rata payment. But probably not if you were off for the quarter rewarded.

missnevermind Wed 08-Dec-10 23:49:21

I thought the law was - If you would have received it if you were not on ML then it was discriminatory not to give it to you just because you were.

Metcalfe Thu 09-Dec-10 08:27:23

You are entitled to it on a pro rata basis for the period you were at work and the first two weeks of your maternity leave. As this period of leave is compulsory

RibenaBerry Thu 09-Dec-10 10:09:13

Bonuses and maternity leave are really complicated.

The pro-rating rules would generally apply to performance bonuses based on personal performance- sales targets, objectives, that type of thing.

A bonus which is purely based on company performance and is generally payable to all staff shoudl be paid to women who are off, whatever period of maternity leave they are in.

flowerytaleofNewYork Thu 09-Dec-10 12:06:19

What Ribena said. You are not entitled to salary while on maternity leave, so if a bonus is related to your performance, and forms part of your normal remuneration, it should be pro rated to reflect the time you were in work, plus the two weeks compulsory mat leave.

Discretionary bonuses that are applied to everyone, like Christmas bonuses, should usually be paid in full to women on maternity leave.

DancingThroughLife Thu 09-Dec-10 15:17:30

Thanks everyone.

It's a discretionary bonus paid to everybody (if they are eligible, i.e. have passed 3 month prob. period) if the company meets its target. If I'd have been in the office when the bonus was paid, I would have got it.

It was for quarter 1 - April/May/June. I went on ML mid-May, so I worked for half of the bonus period. Bonus was paid in July pay check.

Ribena/Flowery, that's what I thought. In your infinite wisdom on these matters, I don't suppose you know of a link to that so I can talk to my boss about it?

Thank you so much.

StillSquiffy Fri 10-Dec-10 11:19:24

I'd be surprised if there were any very comprehensive links because most of the current understanding of how it works has been built up on the back of shedloads of discrim claims. The Hoyland case is a famous one that actually argues against you receiving a bonus, but there are other cases that state that you should receive some. It depends on the exact wording of your contract, and whether they can argue whether the bonus is really discretionary (and therefore you would be eligible) or contractual (in which case it can then - depending on wording - be treated as part of salay and therefore you would not be eligible). Havign it called a 'discretionary' bonus doesn't always make it so.

You should ask for a share of the bonus and tell them that you understood that you were entitled to it because of the discretionary nature of the bonus and see what they say. The best result for you would be to put enough doubt in their mind that they ring an employment lawyer and check. I suspect the advice they would get back is that whether or not they need to pay it it might be easier for them to just go ahead and pay you the bonus because it is enough of a grey area that they should try to avoid any potential litigation.

flowerytaleofNewYork Fri 10-Dec-10 13:38:45

Genuinely discretionary bonuses should be paid in full, this link quite good

NineLadiesDancingThroughLife Wed 15-Dec-10 22:54:00

Sorry flowery, I didn't say thank you for that link blush

I'm in work again tomorrow, so I'll be asking my boss about it then. Thanks for your help everyone smile

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