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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 61654
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Can my employer withhold my bonus due to my teams absence, I

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Can my employer withhold my bonus due to my teams absence, I am a manager of 8 people and a qualifier for bonus is absence. My teams bonus is dependent on their own absence however my bonus is dependent on my team. I feel that this is unfair and out of my control.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

How long have you worked there for and what is the measure for absence?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi Ben, I have worked there for 9 years. It is a call centre environment who have recently introduced a new bonus scheme. They have stripped out absence from the bonus scheme but have re-introduced it and called it calls per productive hour (cpph). Basically its calls per hour but if you have any unplanned absence such as sickness your calls per hour will drop as you have less productive hours taking calls. I totally understand this based on your own personal absence however I am penalised on the absence of my team.

and was this not the case before? Was it based on your own absence before the scheme was introduced again?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
it was based on my own absence which I feel is fair and in my own control

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. A bonus is just a contractual incentive which can depend on the conditions imposed by the employer. There is basically no legal right to receive any bonus and if one is offered as an incentive, it can be on whatever terms the employer chooses. If they have made the qualifying terms such that it depends on team absences and you knew this was the case at the start of the qualifying period, then there would be little you can do legally to challenge them as these were clearly communicated conditions which you knew had to be satisfied for you to become eligible for the bonus. It would only be possible to potentially challenge them if you were not advised that team absences were going to be considered and you proceeded on the basis that it was your own personal absences only that would be relevant. However, knowledge from the outset that team absences were a determining factor would make this rather difficult to challenge as there are no real surprises that not meeting that criterion did not result in payment.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi Ben thanks for your reply. Initially it was not made clear that absence would impact cpph only after it was implemented is when I fully understood the implications of absence. Thanks for your time in this matter.

How you approach it now will depend on how far into the qualification period you found this out - if it was halfway through for example, you could try and argue that there should be a pro-rata payment to cover that initial half, with the rest being subject to these rules

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