The longest probationary period in history and pay

(8 Posts)
MammaAgata Fri 23-Mar-18 11:48:58

Hi all,

I wonder if anyone can advise me as i'm honestly not sure of what should be the right outcome.

I started a job in July. It was within Sales and I had a salary of £XX amount with a bonus. Whilst I was not directly selling, I formed part of the sales team in a technical advisory capacity so the team bonus included me. I was on 3 months probation. The bonus was payable regardless of probationary periods and is due at year end (March).

Within the first weeks I knew I hated the job, I had nothing to do, no management guidance, there really wasn't a full time role within the team, they needed me on an ad hoc basis really. I raised my concerns with my manager many times but he couldn't really help me, he was not a manager in a guidance sense. In all honesty he didn't really know what to do with me. I did however fulfil the role to the specific requirements and he was more than happy with my performance, I was just bored and didn't have enough to do.

At the end of my 3 month probationary period I expressed again how unhappy and bored I was. My manager then arranged for me to do 2 days a week with another team. We decided to extend my probationary period for 2 additional months as a protection to me more than anything as within the probationary period I would only have to give 1 weeks notice. I felt this very fair as I was the one complaining I didn't like the job and it would have been unfair of me to accept terms of a full time job when the probationary period was up knowing I was not enjoying the role.

I worked for the other team 2 days and week and the sales team 3 days a week for the next 2 months until the end of the probationary period. I hated that too.. It just wasn't the right fit for me and my skills although the industry was. So, just before Christmas I resigned. I resigned on the Monday and had a letter of acceptance from HR. On the Thursday of the same week I secured another job with the same company for a different team (Projects).

HR and my old boss and new boss decided that the cleanest, easiest way to deal with it at the time was to retract the resignation and put me on secondment to the new team. The new team did not have budgets for new recruitment so whilst a job was offered, there technically wasn't an official job advertised for me to apply to. I never had this in writing but the salary was £XX amount which is £5k a year more than original job but no bonus. I guess I am still on probation.....

Apparently, the job should be advertised soon (by the end of the month). I will apply and hopefully get the job and all will be well in the world. I have been told by the Sales Director that I won't be getting any bonus as I now work for Projects team. However, my pay has not been adjusted for the last 3 months to reflect the higher salary in the new job. Effectively, I have lost out on 6mths bonus entitlement from when I was doing the sales job, and have done the projects job for 3mths on the sales job salary with no bonus.

I hope this makes sense! It sounds really complicated written down.

Can anyone help me with what should be fair in this situation? Personally I think they should at least adjust my pay for the last 3mths whilst working for the Projects team and back pay me for the last 3mths.

Unfortunately my new boss is not in today. I need to discuss with him next week as we are charging forward to the end of the month and I don't really know where I stand yet (pretty confident I have a job for life though). However, the advice I want is should i try and negotiate the back pay/bonus situation or should I just accept the salary that's been paid to date and just accept the new job gracefully and forget about it?

Sorry this is long..

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Fri 23-Mar-18 14:18:18

What does your secondment contract say? If they have not varied your terms of employment, you are on your original terms of employment. So it would appear it was the higher pay with no bonus if this was your latest contract. Did you have that contract in writing? They should have sent you a variation to contract confirming the secondment. Go and see HR. It could be a payroll mistake in that they haven’t been advised of the higher salary.

For the future, get every variation in writing.

flowery Fri 23-Mar-18 14:21:05

If someone leaves within the year but before the bonus is paid do they get it on a pro rata basis?

If not, then when you left the Sales team you forfeited entitlement to the bonus.

When you were seconded to the new team was there no discussion of what salary that would be on? No written confirmation of the secondment arrangements?

MammaAgata Fri 23-Mar-18 14:39:01

Thanks for your advice. No, nothing in writing regards the secondment or any variation.. I forced my new manager to formally interview me for the new role, he was just happy to get me started in the job. I raised salary expectations and he mentioned and agreed the figure of what the salary would be. But as the position has not been advertised, I haven’t applied for it or technically got it I’m confused. In all internal systems I’m still listed as working in the old team with my old boss, although a company wide email went out to say what my new position is and my email sign off etc have been changed to reflect the new job. Writing it down it sounds very strange I know... we are a very specialist company under the umbrella of a global organisation and I think the HR solution at the time was due to easiest way of dealing with it rather than go through any formal resignation and rehiring as the new team didn’t have budgets for new hires.. part of me thinks I should just leave it..

OP’s posts: |
daisychain01 Fri 23-Mar-18 15:24:16

I would request a meeting with HR to sort out the basis of your employment. It is really messy with too many loose ends and not enough formalised in written form. You need to push HR to get this sorted out for your own peace of mind and security.

I can't see how your role is technically a secondment now, as it doesn't sound like there is any intention for you to complete your current secondment assignment and then move back to your permanent role (in your legacy department).

All the messiness around your pay scale, bonus etc is symptomatic of them not giving you clear timescales, confirming stuff in writing and leaving things for months on end with no formalisation.

If you have everything written down in a timeline, with your expected remuneration changes at key points in time, can you take that to HR and highlight that you aren't happy how things are left and you would like it to be cleared up.

Boopear Fri 23-Mar-18 15:34:42

From the info you have provided it would seem that you are either a. Entitled to all of your bonus due to this being in your original and (so far) unchanged contract or (at a stretch) b. Entitled to pro-rata bonus up to the point you ‘got’ the new job. If they don’t pro-rata (it depends on the type of bonus and should be specified in the contract) then you really would seem that you have a strong case for a. As pps have suggested, detail all changes against timelines, including lack of contract changes. I do sympathise - ‘secondments’ are used far too often as an excuse not to actually get proper t & cs in place. Push hard for a change to contract (otherwise they would legally be liable to pay bonus next year as well wink) hope you get sorted.

MammaAgata Fri 23-Mar-18 16:33:01

Thank you all for your help. It has clarified my mind at least. I need to dig out all the paperwork and arrange a meeting. It's compounded by HR being in a different office, me working from home etc etc - so it's difficult to arrange a meeting. At this moment in time by the end of next week I may not "technically" have a job! The Sales Director wants my hire off his new years budget - whilst he is not going to replace me as he has admitted there is not a full time role there for a technical support person he will want to go ahead a hire new sales team members.

If my new manager doesn't pull his finger out getting a job spec organised for me to apply to then as this is not a true secondment in the sense I will be going back to the legacy role then I'm just left hanging.

It's all been so messy. The key thing for me is I had to resign, my old boss was "lending" me out to other departments and it was working with/for him that a lot of my frustrations lay. I couldn't risk being "lent" to the new team and still under his management. That's the point it got messy I think.

i'm sure it'll get sorted and it seems petty to argue about 3mths worth of an extra 5k PA or 6mths bonus but the bonus (pro rated) would be 3k and I was instrumental in the sales team securing it.

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Fri 23-Mar-18 17:44:05

Don’t agree to do anything without written contracts! Or variations to contracts! Hopefully HR can sort it out. It’s compounded by working from home too. Dig out all the contracts you have.

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