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Can my employer do this?

(16 Posts)
HonestLie Tue 16-Dec-14 13:33:56

Two issues first is this:-

I receive a bonus each month basically for being on time to work, completing my tasks to a satisfactory standard, no sick days. This was in a very old employee handbook but the latest version has no mention of the bonus (I am the only one left in the company who receives this bonus). I have previously received my bonus when I have been sent home sick. Last week I received a call from my daughters nursery and had to collect her, I left a total of 2 hours 50 minutes early. Can they legally deduct this bonus from me for this time?


I work in an office environment. No shift work etc. Management have decided we are not allowed to day half days. There is no stipulation of this within the employee handbook/contracts. There is no plausible reason been given other than "this is not a route the company wants to go down"

Can they really not allow us to take a half day?

HonestLie Tue 16-Dec-14 13:38:18

Take half days*

InfinitySeven Tue 16-Dec-14 13:39:51

Do you have the old handbook? You're going to need to see what is defined in there. It's possible that if you get the bonus for being at work and producing good quality work, you'd miss out if you had to leave work early. It could also be that if you are there for any part of the day, you are entitled. It's not a legal requirement, so you'd need to look into the specific terms in the old handbook.

I don't believe half-days are a legal requirement, either. I believe it is up to the company to decide if they want to offer them, and I'm not sure that they'd need to provide a reason if they don't want to anymore. You could probably challenge this using flexible working, if you need half days, but I don't think there is much else that you can do.

Viviennemary Tue 16-Dec-14 13:42:48

I think you really need a union rep on this one if you are in a Union. I think they would be entitled to deduct the bonus as strictly speaking you did take the time off. Sometimes unions used to invoke this rule called 'custom and practice' which means if something has always been allowed in the past it should be allowed in future but don't even know if that's still going. I don't think I'd make a fuss about the bonus thing because they could easily say well no bonus at all and I think you'd have trouble fighting it if you're the last person to get it.

HonestLie Tue 16-Dec-14 14:04:57

It's written into my contract that I get it so they can't take it away I just don't have access to the terms and conditions surrounding it - although I have requested a copy of the old handbook. Truth be told, I can't afford to lose it but realise that wouldn't be accepted as a valid reason to not.

Where do I stand if they say they don't have the old copy therefore there would be no record of the stipulations? The half day is not actually for me I'm inquiring on behalf of a colleague. I will look into our flexible working policy. Thanks.

flowery Tue 16-Dec-14 18:01:50

You have no entitlement to be paid at all for the time you were absent picking up your daughter. The fact that you are entitled to a bonus for doing your job and not being off sick doesn't affect this. You can ask for earlier terms and conditions but I'd be surprised if it specifies bonus still payable for time absent for that reason. If you got basic pay for that time, and just had the bonus element deducted, you are getting more than statutory entitlement. Your best bet would be if there is a policy or clause in your current handbook specifying that emergency dependants leave is full pay, and then to argue that for you, "full pay" includes bonus.

No one is entitled to half days off. As long as employees get their holiday entitlement, employers are allowed to put in place rules and procedures for taking it and can refuse any request.

yummumto3girls Tue 16-Dec-14 23:36:19

I would say that there are several issues you have raised. Firstly you need to go back and look at your original contract and see what it says about when you do/do not receive your bonus. It sounds like you have received it even when you have been off sick and so have potentially achieved a entitlement to the bonus regardless. Have there been any occasions when you have not received it?

Taking time off to collect your daughter is a completely separate issue from your bonus, you were not sick. If they did try to withhold your bonus then it could potentially be sex discrimination (as more women than men are likely to be the primary child carer).

You do really need to find your contract or ask your organisation for a copy.

HonestLie Tue 16-Dec-14 23:52:34

I've only ever not received it when I myself was off sick 2+ years ago. When I have gone to work and been sent home 2 occasions I haven't.

The only dependants/parental leave I have taken I knew in advance and booked annual leave.

I have offered to take a half days holiday (I actually have a half day within my annual leave so bypass the new half day rule for one half day a year). The bonus makes up 1/6 of my take home wage so it's a fair chunk to lose. My work was completed on the week I left, I was fairly quiet and helping out another team.

HonestLie Tue 16-Dec-14 23:59:36

I should also say if the annual leave isn't approved I am more than happy for the hours missed to be deducted or make the time up. I'm just unsure where I stand with regards to the bonus structure. I've requested a copy of the old handbook so should hopefully get it tomorrow.

flowery Wed 17-Dec-14 04:11:26

You said the half day query wasn't for you? confused

It's not sex discrimination not to pay someone for emergency dependents leave, just because a woman is more likely to take that leave than a man. The statutory entitlement is to unpaid leave, and sticking to that statutory entitlement is not discriminatory.

What does your current handbook say about emergency dependents leave OP?

BlessedAndGr8fulNoInLaws4Xmas Wed 17-Dec-14 04:21:15

Yes Flowery is right.

HonestLie Wed 17-Dec-14 07:24:32

The half day query wasn't for me. I have x.5 days so I have to be allowed a half day within my annual leave year. When I requested it another colleague overheard and asked why some staff were allowed half days and others not so I was wondering if they can dictate this without there being any mention of it in the handbook.

HonestLie Wed 17-Dec-14 07:26:24

I'm also not questioning whether I get paid or not for the dependant leave. They will either allow the A/L or it will be unpaid. I don't have an issue with this it's the bonus I'm querying.

Will hopefully get a copy of my old handbook today.

flowery Wed 17-Dec-14 07:37:34

But surely if you get paid your bonus element for the time you were off you will be being paid? Seems strange to be happy to lose basic salary but to expect to receive bonus. confused

WannaBe Wed 17-Dec-14 07:58:33

And there will likely be a Claus in your contract which says your employer has the right to change it with x amount of notice.

HonestLie Wed 17-Dec-14 08:18:55

I've just spoken to HR (don't know why I didn't think to ask) and thankfully they can't remove my bonus. Panic over

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