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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48210
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Can you let me know what is fair and reasonable for targets

Resolved Question:

Can you let me know what is fair and reasonable for targets and commission payments; should a target be set before the start of a period or is it allowed to be presented up to 8 weeks into a 13 week period?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

How long have you worked there for?

Customer:

8 years; basically our targets have always been sent out late however this past year it has been very late each quarter. I have lodged a grievance against non payment, due to not reaching targets and I feel that they have been set unfairly. I won the grievance however have still bee refused payment and I will be sitting an appeal hearing tomorrow

Ben Jones :

OK, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX this with me - I will look into this for you, get my response ready and get back to you on here. No need to wait around and you will get an email when I have responded, thank you

Ben Jones :

So when you say you won the grievance what did they decide in your favour?

Customer:

They agreed that the targets have been late and have put steps into address this. The target period this time has started 1st Jan however still no notification! They have stated that my target is set fairly but I disagree and have given stats to prove as such. I have also stated that I feel I am being victimised as a result but this was unanswered.

Customer:

I have already submitted my forecast (17th December) ans updated it (30th Jan) to reflect situations within my team of staff however still no idea of what I will be targetted against

Ben Jones :

ok let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

This is a tricky situation because there is no specific law that says when and how targets for commission or bonus payments should be set. Often it is down to the employer to decide on that, although they will have to act within the implied contractual term of trust and confidence – something that exists in every contract of employment. This means that in general, an employer should not act in a way that breaches or undermines the trust and confidence that exists between them and their employees.


 


You have raised a grievance in this case, which has been accepted but the employer has failed to then pay what you should have been due if they had applied the policy fairly. It is a bit of a contradiction because you would have expected that if your grievance was rejected. Whilst you are able to appeal, the issue would be if the appeal is rejected and you are still not paid what you believe you are due. Pursuing that money would be difficult and you may not be able to challenge the employer unless you take the next step in the process which would be to resign and claim for constructive dismissal. This is a last resort option but it is applied if you believe that you can no longer continue working there as a result of the employer’s actions and had no option but to resign. It is a drastic move but your only legal option in the circumstances if this situation is not resolved.

Customer:

Thanks Ben, I had a feeling it would come down to this. Is there no set, or implied, guideline, in setting targets as this could lead a company to altering terms during a targeted period. I feel in essence that this is what is happening as non business as usual work has been placed upon my staff such that the target has been unachievable. In some circumstances my staff have had their hours altered so that the non bau part of the work did not affect their ability to earn bonus however mine were not. Could this be discrimination?

Ben Jones :

No laws deal with setting targets. Your rights will depend on whether these targets form part of your contract and are to be seen as a permanent condition, or if they can be varied by the employer as needed - this is down to your contract of employment. If they are contractually binding targets that cannot be varied for example, but the employer does so anyway and your pay is affected then it could be a breach of contract and you could consider pursuing this as a claim whilst still employed. However do not use terms as victimisation and discrimination - they do not apply here, they are only an issue if you are being treated unfavourably due to a protected characteristic, such as age, race, gender, religion, etc

Customer:

Many thanks Ben, I will have a wander back through my T&C's to see if there is anything within them to help. I have looked at the variances within the targets being set for colleagues and mine do appear to be unjustly harsh, with up to 25% difference between me and some of the others, and I am the only gay manager; that was why I was looking at discrimination but I know this would be very difficult to prove.

Customer:

Again many thanks for you help I will see how it goes tomorrow

Ben Jones :

Yes it could be difficult, especially as other non-gay employees are being treated the same

Customer:

Ok I will get back to the drawing board! Cheers XXXXX XXXXX the help and advice

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the advice I have provided as that is an important part of our process. Thank you and feel free to bookmark my profile for future help:



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