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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47351
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After my company was bought 2 years ago Sept 10 (owner retired)

Resolved Question:

After my company was bought 2 years ago Sept 10 (owner retired) I handed in my 12 month notice on the 2-11-2012 (after 30 years service 20 years as a Director).
In January 2013 a 3% annual increase was awarded to all employees (with the exception of myself).
After I found this out I had a meeting with Human resources on the 30th July 2013 to discuss why I haven't received the increase.
I had verbal response from HR they said that it was company policy that employees working their notice would not be awarded an annual increase. After I challenged their decision verbally I had a further response via e-mail.
With regards XXXXX XXXXX review, I actually said it was our standard practice (not policy) that any employee who was working their contractual notice does not receive an increase.
I then sent a e-mail response as follows:-
Thank you for your prompt response to my e-mail today. Unfortunately none of the correspondence was recorded but you and others did say it was company policy. You are now saying it is standard practice so there is no policy - if it is as you say standard practice how is this relayed to your employees – in their Contract of Employment? In the Company Handbook? I have worked for the company for over 30 years and this practice was never in place.
I don’t think it is standard practice for most employees to give 12 months’ notice- for 10 months of which I would have received the increase.
Can you please confirm that this is your and other directors final decision on this matter before I seek advice. A Director phoned and confirmed it was their standard practice.

In employment law could you please let me know if I am entitled to the increase or not

Kind Regards
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: 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 :

Did your contract entitle you to an increase in any way?

Customer:

No

Ben Jones :

Whilst the employer's decision to award everyone else a pay rise, apart from you, would appear unfair (and I agree it is), it will not be unlawful. There is no general right to receive a pay rise and also no right to be given one of others in the business receive them. The only times it would be unlawful for the employer to act in the way they have is if:



  • You had a specific right to the increase under contract and the employer has failed to adhere to it, in which case it would amount to breach of contract. This does not appear to be the case here.

  • The reason for the failure to award a pay rise was due to discriminatory reasons, for example because of your race, gender, age, religion, etc. If everyone else has received a pay rise and you cannot single out a specific discriminatory reason apart from the fact you are leaving (which is not a discriminatory ground in itself)


 


So whilst morally wrong, from a legal point of view I am afraid it will be allowed, subject to the above exceptions.

Ben Jones :

I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you wanted to hear but I hope you understand I have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands and sometimes this does unfortunately mean delivering bad news. Please let me know if you need me to clarify anything.

Customer:

Thank you for explaining, as you say it is not what I wanted to hear.

Ben Jones :

You are welcome, has this answered your query or do you need me to clarify anything else for you?

Customer:

No this has answered my query, Regards

Ben Jones :

OK thank you, XXXXX XXXXX best

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