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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3653
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I was hoping someone can help. I joined an investment management

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I was hoping someone can help. I joined an investment management firm in September 2014 as a Business Development Manager. As part of my package, I was offered a guaranteed bonus of £40k (basically to cover some of what I was walking away from in my previous role), to be paid in January 2015. The only stipulation with regards ***** ***** payment was that the company was profitable at the time. The bonus was paid to me on 23rd January.
The job hasn't worked out they way I thought it would have and things came to a head with my manager on 30th January. He saw an email from my wife as he walked past my screen, which was relating to a possible interview for me at another company. My manager pulled me into a room and asked me about it, telling me how disappointed he was. I confirmed that I had been offered an interview elsewhere, but I wouldn't be taking it any further. My manager was still very unhappy and we had an honest discussion about how things were going.
After reflecting on everything over the weekend, I gave my month's notice on 3rd February, as I really wasn't happy in the role. I currently have no other job to go to. I was asked to leave at the end of that day and was advised that I would be notified in writing of the formalities etc. Both my manager and the HR director were very unhappy, particularly relating to the guaranteed bonus I had received 11 days previously.
Today I have received a letter from the firm expressing their disappointment and stating that had they known I was going to hand in my notice, they would not have made this payment.
They say "As you can imagine we feel highly aggrieved at this and believe you have misrepresented the position to us. Without prejudice to any rights we may have to recover the payment made to you, we have decided that it is appropriate to terminate your employment with immediate effect and without giving you payment in lieu of notice."
Are they allowed to not pay me for the notice period based on the above, or do I have a case? It also sounds like they are going to try to get me to pay the guaranteed bonus back. To be clear, the only stipulation in my offer letter was that the company had to be profitable at the time of payment, there was no mention of claw back if I left during a certain period.
Thanks in advance!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
The first point to note is that they cannot claw back your bonus unless they have a contractual right to do so. Personally I would go and instruct a solicitor immediately to write to them and put them on notice that they do not have the right to claw back your bonus and you vigorously defend any claim. This should come from a solicitor to give it the added gravitas that you have been advised and know your rights. If it comes from you they will probably not give it due care and attention.
Secondly no they cannot just ignore your notice period. They are breaking the terms of your contract and accordingly you may have a claim for wrongful dismissal. You have three months to bring a tribunal claim so again I would either look into issuing the claim your self or getting your solicitor to do it. They cannot claim costs for a tribunal and accordingly I would be surprised if they did not try and settle this at the earliest opportunity.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
AJ
Alex J. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for this AJ. They are not yet attempting to claw back my bonus, but have indicated in the letter that they might. Do you think they are maybe mentioning this to try to scare me into not making a claim on salary in my notice period? Do you think I should go down the route suggested on this link?
https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunals
Could you recommend a solicitor to speak to? My concern about instructing a solicitor is the cost involved possibly being as much as the amount I am claiming for.