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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47388
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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At 65 I have just advised ny employer that I shall retire July

Customer Question

At 65 I have just advised ny employer that I shall retire July 31. They have advised that I am not entitled to my bonus recently awarded as I am 'under notice'. The relevant company document reads;
3.0 ELIGIBILITY

3.1 To be eligible for payment colleagues must be in employment, not under notice, be within the criteria described under the agency regulations and performing satisfactorily against targets on the day the bonus payment is payable.

Do you consider the Company is interpreting this incorrectly in that the employer has imposed the notice upon me rather than the other way around?

Regards,

Adrian J. W. Lewis XXX@XXXXXX.XXX XXX@XXXXXX.XXX
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded. For now please let me know how long you have worked there.

JACUSTOMER-6hreya6r- :

Hello Ben,

JACUSTOMER-6hreya6r- :

Thanks for the acknowledgement.

JACUSTOMER-6hreya6r- :

I have worked for this company 11 years this coming July, prior to that with Allianz for 35 years.

JACUSTOMER-6hreya6r- :

Adrian......

Ben Jones :

Hello Adrian, it is not uncommon to have a wording in a bonus clause that states an employee must remain in employment on the payment date and also not be under notice of termination. While the situation might seem straightforward, in practice a court or tribunal may wish to be convinced that the employee was made fully aware of such provisions before tendering their resignation. It is then clearly for the employee to time his resignation sensibly.

If you were fully aware of this specific wording, then if you are under notice, whether due to your resignation or due to your employer dismissing you, you may not actually be entitled to the bonus.

There has been case law to support a view that if the policy was not made sufficiently clear, that it may not be enforceable. For example in the case of Noble Enterprises case the employer claimed that the employee was not entitled to a bonus in respect of the previous year when he resigned and left just a few days short of the payment date. The courts found that the scheme, which was not recorded in writing, was imprecise. In particular, the provision which purportedly barred the employee from being paid his bonus had not been made clear and had he been aware that he must remain in employment until the payment date, the EAT reasoned that he would not have left until after that date. As such he was entitled to the bonus in that case.

Ben Jones :

I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating - your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you

JACUSTOMER-6hreya6r- :

Ben,

JACUSTOMER-6hreya6r- :

Thanks for the advice, result today my bonus has been reinstated.

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