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Christmas bonus/maternity leave question

(6 Posts)
ImogenHeat Sun 24-Dec-17 11:27:03

Hello, can anyone clarify whether companies can elect not to pay a Christmas bonus due to maternity leave?

I wondered this last year when they pro-rated mine so I got less (I had started maternity leave in September). Now this year, I've been back at work since November (holiday pay before that though so technically mat leave finished in September) and they have given me nothing. Nobody told me I'd be getting nothing so I was included in all the emails and meetings about bonuses in the last few weeks but I've seen what's gone into my account yesterday and there is not a penny extra. Can they do this? It's fine if they can, I just thought things like that were possibly protected. And I wish they'd just told me.

They are also calling it "performance related" this year (I'm sure they just used to call it the Christmas bonus) which might be how they get around it. I understand my performance this year can't really be judged when I've not been back long (they probably decided the amounts before I was even back, I suppose) but equally, you can't rate my performance as "bad" for being on leave. For what it's worth, I'm really good at my job and very experienced so when they said bonuses would be good this year, I was really excited. sad

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ImogenHeat Tue 26-Dec-17 11:42:23

Hopeful bump

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macaronip1e Tue 26-Dec-17 11:54:28

I don’t know the legal HR position on this, but as a bonus is generally discretionary I think they can do as they like. I always had mine pro-rated when I worked incomplete years due to maternity leave which seemed fair to me. Seems an oversight/mean to include you in correspondence and not pay anything, even if it was to be pro-rated due to you working a limited time this year. By the way are you sure it would go in in your December pay? Ours hits in January.

Happies Tue 26-Dec-17 12:18:34

I went on mat leave Jan to Jan, and bonuses are paid in March..... personally I got bonus while I may leave as it was based on previous years work.....

When I returned to work the following year my bonus was massively reduced due to missing a whole year but I did get a small something.

But as pointed out it depends if your bonus is contractual or discretionary.....? If discretionary they can always choose to not pay you a bonus, can you discuss with a manager?

EggysMom Tue 26-Dec-17 12:22:21

T&Cs are written very clearly for my employer's bonus scheme - if you're on Mat Leave, your bonus is proportionate and only for the months where you were working.

ImogenHeat Tue 26-Dec-17 14:10:52

Thanks all. It's definitely December, they confirmed that in all the emails and calls.

I guess it's discretionary but the years they do it (every year so far) it's discretionary in the sense that everyone gets some or nobody does. We have been merged with a bigger company now and this is the first time it would really have been possible for someone to not get it!

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