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Discrimination - or am I just feeling sorry for myself?

(6 Posts)
feelabitswizzed Mon 22-Jul-13 17:52:15

I recently found out that some of my colleagues are on a bonus scheme and I am not.

I?d be very grateful for any views on whether I have a genuine grievance or if it?s just bad timing. Sorry this is long ? I am legally minded but don?t have good knowledge of employment law and am not sure what is relevant.

I joined the company 8 years ago on a non-bonusable grade. The company merged with another in 2008. I went on mat leave for a year from Sept 2008.

Whilst I was on mat leave the grading structure changed, although I understood this to be inconsequential for our team. A new department Head (M1) joined and the junior staff were promoted so everyone had the same job title and grade. (This was fair enough as the junior ones were very good ? just young!)

I had a return-to-work meeting with M1 two weeks before mat leave ended (Sept 2009). I asked if there were opportunities for progression and was told that the structure is now flat except for M1 and her second in command (M2).

I returned to my job just as M1 went on Mat leave. M2 became the Head. There was some attempt to have two people acting in a supervisory capacity to co-ordinate work, but this had been started by M1 before she left and seemed to fizzle out. I was a bit annoyed as I had been told everything was the same for everyone. I don?t know if these two people moved up a grade (a higher grade had been created my M1 as part of the new grade structure but I didn?t realise this).

So.....f-fwd to now. I have a new job in the same company ? same grade but also get a bonus, which I was surprised at because I didn?t think it was possible. Anyway, I gradually discovered from former colleagues that when I was on mat leave in 08/09 half the team were given access to the bonus scheme (and were told that not everyone had so to keep it quiet). They were the two juniors (who were actually very good) and two others that M1 rated (same two that may or may not have been ?promoted?).

In addition, a new person joined the team from another department a few months ago and she is on the bonus scheme because she was in her old role.

I have queried this with HR and management. I was told access to the bonus scheme is performance-based and that it is not policy to tell people that they are eligible for consideration to have access to the scheme.

Does this sound right? I get that the actual payment of a bonus depends on performance, and that I wasn?t around to ?perform? at the right time. But I do feel aggrieved that I didn?t even know it was a possibility. And this is compounded by missing out on two years of performance appraisal (I was on secondment and seem to have fallen between the cracks for 2011 then went on mat leave again for 2012).

I did speak briefly to a lawyer and she advised the first step is to ask HR how they apply the process in an equal and fair way. But apparently it?s not policy to share eligibility criteria. What should I do now? Or should I just suck it up?

I?m not arguing that I should have got a bonus, (although I was senior, experienced, committed and qualified) but I never got the chance to work for M1 and have definitely lost professional ground as a result.

Thanks for reading this far!

2Retts Tue 23-Jul-13 00:38:03

Hi there. I think the first thing you have to do is take the advice of the lawyer. She is quite right that nobody can asnwer your basic question about discrimination until there is a knowledge of the process and how it is applied.

I appreciate what you are saying about it not being 'policy to share eligibility criteria' but it is good practice and failure to provide such information could lead to assumptions (rightly or wrongly) that discrimination exists.

You have to ask yourself about the potential for repercussions should you decide to take this do get the bonus now.

nicksinger7 Mon 29-Jul-13 13:53:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RonaldMcDonald Mon 29-Jul-13 14:03:41


we don't advertise our services on the boards

I've asked for your post to be removed

If you want to help and offer advice for free though...go ahead!

nicksinger7 Mon 29-Jul-13 14:13:50

Oh ok, that's fine. Didn't realise. Please remove! I have also answered another post, which you'll need to do the same. Am I allowed to mention that I'm a barrister?

RonaldMcDonald Mon 29-Jul-13 14:19:56


you can offer advice and opinion for free.

It's up to you whether or not you say you are a barrister.

The boards have lots of professionals hanging about and giving advice when they have time or see something awful or going wrong.
We do it for free and as part of a community

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