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Anyone know what happens with bonus during maternity?

(9 Posts)
Annie105 Thu 02-Jun-16 09:29:42

Today 07:35 Annie105

Hi all I work for a medium sized firm and have been totally committed there and a "top performer" for 10 years. I'll be on maternity leave in November when our annual appraisals (for the year you have just had) and discretionary bonus are paid to every staff member. I am also due a contractural bonus in March 2017.

I've been trying to sort out for the last 6! weeks what happens when I'm on maternity (they are woefully unprepared when it comes to dealing with these matters and told me I can't have paid KIT days) and I've been told I won't be entitled to my review at same time as my colleagues and I will not receive a discretionary bonus (which we all get every year) either until I return from maternity. I've also just received an email confirming my contractural bonus (which I've been tied into for 3 years) will be pro rata for the time I'm on maternity, which is fair enough , but that this too also won't be paid until I return.

I'm really upset by this. I receive no contractural maternity pay, only SMP, and was relying on these small bonus being paid to help ease the financial burden of not having my salary during maternity. I also hoped that keeping my review at same time as my colleagues would mean I was able to try and prove I'm committed to coming back, be considered equally for the year I've just had and hopefully given or at least the chance to fight for a small rise. I have already confirmed I'm planning to take 7 months max off as my boss has been worried about how she will cope without me. Without these bonuses I will have to go back in 4.

Anyway in a nutshell does anyone know if the above is legal? Who should I approach for advice?? Thank you

flowery Thu 02-Jun-16 10:10:03

It would not be usual to conduct a performance review while someone is on maternity leave. Normal, good practice is to either do it before someone goes or after they return. Which is better depends on individual circumstances. If you go on maternity leave in October and reviews are normally done in November, then clearly doing it before you go would be better.

If you have been off for months by the time review period is reached, then doing it after you come back would make more sense.

In terms of bonuses, contractual bonuses which form part of your normal remuneration aren't due in respect of time spent on maternity leave, so should be pro rated to cover the portion of the year in question you were at work for, plus the two weeks compulsory maternity leave.

Genuinely discretionary bonuses, such as everyone getting £100 at Christmas, should be paid on an equal basis to those who are on maternity leave.

You are not entitled to KIT days.

It's no clear, are they saying they won't give you these bonuses at all, or are they just proposing not to pay them until after maternity leave has ended?

Annie105 Thu 02-Jun-16 12:07:14

Hi flowery I hear you are the expert so was hoping you would respond!

At the moment they are saying;
1) they won't conduct my annual performance review for 2014/2015 alongside everyone else as I will have been off on maternity leave for 2 months. That I have to wait until after I return.

2) the discretionary bonus normally paid in November (which is equivalent to 1-2 months salary so quite a big deal to me) they won't pay that until after I return to work and it that won't be processed into my account until one month after my return. This is the main issue I have as I was expecting this to keep me going through maternity!!

3) my contractural bonus due the month I am due to come back to work (month 7) they say they won't pay until one month after I return

So in a nutshell they seem to be willing to pay, of course the discretionary that might reduce this year for everyone, but it's a nightmare financially if they won't process this until I've come back from maternity.

flowery Thu 02-Jun-16 14:12:10

Well as I say, a performance review wouldn't be conducted during maternity leave, so it's just a question of whether to do it before or after. My suggestion would be before in your circumstances, otherwise the year they are reviewing will have receded further into the distance. I would suggest asking them to conduct your review just before you go, as all the performance relevant to that year's review will have already taken place, if that makes sense.

Have you asked why they won't pay your bonuses at the usual time? Are they perhaps concerned that it will impact your SMP?

Annie105 Thu 02-Jun-16 15:09:05

That's good advice so I will ask them to do that as you are bang on in that all the performance that needs to be reviewed will be complete! Plus I'll maybe have a bit of baby brain during the actual review period.. Or so everyone keeps warning me!!

They haven't told me why they won't pay but I have asked just waiting for the feedback. Taking way too long so they are obviously consulting their legal advisory people. bonkers that they don't have these explanations readily available. I find it quite offensive as I told them I was pregnant before 12 weeks just so they could plan!

Diddlydokey Thu 02-Jun-16 15:12:48

Our bonuses are company wide and not performance related. I got paid mine in the usual months whilst on mat leave.

My HR are were also not aware that I could take my bank holidays as part of my general holiday allowances - that allowed me to finish a couple of days earlier as we have to use or lose our holiday allowances for each year.

Annie105 Thu 02-Jun-16 15:48:01

Oh interesting I never thought of the bank holiday thing as there is one is August so potentially I could bolt that day and Xmas bank holidays onto my accrued days?

I've been told the days I accrue whilst on maternity I can use as a bolt on to the end of my maternity.. This essentially means they will let me roll over 10.5 days annual leave and 4 bank holidays.. I haven't got any of this in writing though!

Diddlydokey Thu 02-Jun-16 17:18:04

Exactly that Annie

Diddlydokey Thu 02-Jun-16 17:18:47

I'd get it all in writing. It helps to email HR then you have that record

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