We appreciate that a bonus can be an important part of your overall remuneration package. If you have not been awarded the bonus you expect, your employer may be in breach of your employment contract. Even employers who operate schemes that are stated to be “discretionary” may have some limitations on the way that discretion can be exercised, and so there can be claims if that discretion has been exercised in a discriminatory or particularly arbitrary way.
Bonuses can be worth a lot of money, and we have a strong track record in helping senior executives secure the payments they deserve.
We are also experienced in equal pay disputes. If you believe you are being paid less than a colleague of the opposite sex who is doing the same or similar work to you, you may have an equal pay claim entitling you to back pay and increased pay for the future.
Can you help with breach of contract claims?
Yes - if you think your employer has not honoured your contract, or you haven’t been paid the bonus you deserve you may have a claim. We can advise you on the strength of your position, seek to negotiate with your employer, and where necessary represent you in the claims process.
Can I sue my employer for not paying my bonus?
You may be able to - much will depend on the terms of your contract or bonus scheme and how much flexibility your employer has reserved for discretion over the level of payment, or indeed whether they have to pay anything at all. We are very used to looking at and interpreting scheme documentation, so will be able to advise you on your position.
Can an employer take back a bonus?
Again much will depend upon the terms of your contract and any associated bonus rules. We can review these for you and advise you of your rights and liabilities.
Can a company change your bonus without notice?
It depends upon the type of bonus scheme you have. We can review your terms and advise you of your rights.
How do I report unequal pay?
If you think you are being paid less than a suitable comparator of the opposite sex the best starting point may be to raise this with your employer. Pay discrepancies can arise for a number of reasons and can often be resolved through constructive dialogue so raising things informally first may be best. If there remains a problem then you may need to raise things more formally through a grievance process. We can advise you on whether your concerns are justified, the strength of your argument, and how best to raise this.
Ultimately if the issue is not appropriately resolved you may have a claim for equal pay that can be brought in the Employment Tribunal. This is sometimes coupled with a claim for sex discrimination depending upon the circumstances. We can advise and represent you in this sort of claim.
Is unequal pay illegal in the UK?
Yes. By law (under the Equality Act 2010) men and women must get equal pay for doing 'equal work' (which is work that equal pay law classes as the same, similar, equivalent or of equal value).
This means someone must not get less pay compared to someone who:
Is of the opposite sex; and
Who is doing, or has done, equal work for the same employer.
Equal pay law applies to basic pay as well as other terms and conditions of employment, including:
Basic wages or salary
Annual leave allowance
Differences in pay and other terms and conditions are allowed in some circumstances. For example, it might be possible for an individual to be paid more than an individual of the opposite sex who does similar work because:
They're better qualified, if their skills are crucial to the job or if they are particularly hard to recruit
Location - for example, if they're based in London where the cost of living is higher, it is common to see higher salaries
Provided getting paid more has nothing to do with someone’s sex then the differential may be lawful.
This is a complex area so if you think you are being paid less than someone of the opposite sex please take advice.
Solicitors in Oxford specialising in bonuses and pay disputes
At Julian Taylor HR we specialise in employment law and have dealt with numerous cases involving bonuses and equal pay disputes. If you’ve got an issue involving unpaid work bonuses or problems with a pay dispute then we can help. Reach out to us for a chat about your specific issues.