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Advice re. (lack of) pay rise whilst on ML please

(9 Posts)
mololoko Mon 12-Sep-11 19:19:10

My colleagues (all of my team apart from me) have been given a "discretionary performance based" pay rise. I am in the middle of my maternity leave. I have been told verbally by my line manager that I was not awarded a pay rise as I am on ML. I have asked him to speak to the directors as I don't think that's legal and to review the decision. I have a meeting with him tomorrow.

Where do I stand on this? My appraisals have always been excellent and no one has indicated there is anything wrong with my performance other than the fact I haven't been there for 6 months. I haven't had a pay rise since 2008.

Is it up to me to prove discrimination or them to prove they're not discriminating? Does anyone have any pointers for documentation which I can lift some legal phrases from? What should I say to my line manager tomorrow?

Any advice much appreciated.

Grevling Mon 12-Sep-11 20:40:03

It's a tricky one I'd wait to see if Flowery is knocking around but I'll start.

How many is in your team that got pay rises and are there any men in it.

mololoko Mon 12-Sep-11 20:44:45

There are 4 on my team, all men except for me. I work in a male dominated industry but for a company which makes a big deal out of being "family friendly".

They all got pay rises. I am the second most senior member of the team and one of the other team members reports to me. (I haven't officially been informed of his pay rise as his team leader yet either hmm)

We do have a decent (I think) HR dept.

Kayano Mon 12-Sep-11 20:52:04

I would be kicking off even if it was legal of them! It's bang out of order IMO, if you were hitting all your tariffs and performances before going
On ML surely that means they are only NOT awarding it because of the ML?

Grevling Mon 12-Sep-11 21:25:28

I'd kick off as well. Depends when it was awarded for. I.e. if its been awarded for the months you were off or for the previous year results etc.

Did anything special happen while you were off (like a massive new customer?) or wasit just they has some cash floating about.

For the meeting I'd just point out that all men got pay rises, you didn't as you were on ML and that looks suspect from a equal pay point of view. As its discretionary you'd have to prove gender discrimination and its not as cut and dry as if this was a contractual benefit but still off.

mololoko Mon 12-Sep-11 21:40:59

I think I'll ask them to clarify the criteria they used to assess the performance for the pay rises. There have been a couple of big sucessful projects which have completed since I went on ML, but I was instrumental in kicking them off and designing and implementing the project plans.

mololoko Mon 12-Sep-11 21:44:48

I have to go to bed now, DS is not a good sleeper! Any more advice gratefully received. Thanks for your responses.

StillSquiffy Tue 13-Sep-11 15:05:58

It is a very grey area indeed, but the general rule that larger organisations follow is 'when in doubt, give a bonus', and that is pretty much the advice that the magic circle give their clients - I've been briefed twice on this from two different firms and got the same message.

Although 'discretionary' pay rises and bonuses can be avoided for people on ML, companies would need to set out all the rules they followed in deciding the criteria, and then once they've done that, they need to show that their rules aren't discrimnatory. Most companies don't have set formulae to start with, so they fall at the first hurdle. And they loathe disclosing their rules anyway (if they have them) because then they set a 'precedent' that people can then fight for the next year.

There was one case around 4 years ago (at Paribas I think, could be wrong) where tribunal ruled that it was definitely indirect discrimination to not award a discretionary performance-related bonus to someone on ML on grounds that woman couldn't 'perform' because she was on ML, but other tribunals have leant the other way both before and after this case so you can't rely on it completely (although I think that your case is actually stronger because a payrise goes on affecting you long after you return from ML).

so all in all you have a strong hand, especially as you helped win the business and kick it off. Am sure it is only ignorance from your bosses that has caused this and they will reverse sharply if HR get involved. If not I will dig out the specific case for you to go back to them with.

mololoko Tue 13-Sep-11 17:04:42

Thanks StillSquiffy for that great post. My line manager has not yet had a response from the director. I have asked him to clarify the terms for which the pay rise was awarded and made sure that my line manager is aware of the legal position. If I have heard nothing by the end of the week I will contact HR.

It's so frustrating having to fight such a predictable and tedious battle for the sake of a few hundred pounds which for the company is a pittance yet for me is important (I am the main breadwinner in the household).

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