New Post Advanced Search

Coronavirus: The latest from MSE


The MSE team is working extremely hard to keep the info we have about your travel rights, cancellation rights, sick pay (and more) up to date.
The official MSE guides: NEW MSE Coronavirus Guides

NEWSFLASH 31/3
RESCUE FLIGHTS FOR STRANDED BRITS * SCHOOL MEALS VOUCHERS * BRIGHTHOUSE COLLAPSES

Regular payments and the law

3 replies 271 views
I know there is law around "regular payments" like bonuses and so on which are so regular, they become protected as part of your salary, but I'm not sure where this sits?
For a number of years, I've been paid for standby in my job in case anything goes wrong outside of business hours. Just over 2 years ago, I was moved into a completely different role which demanded much greater responsibility. I was initially told after doing the job, my salary would be reviewed. As it turned out, my new Manager simply told me I would continue to be paid standby, even though there is absolutely no requirement, in lieue of a pay rise.
2 years later, I have a new Manager who has said I have to stop claiming for this.

I have little in writing, although clearly, I have proof in that I'm being paid it. And I have plenty of evidence that I would never be called outside of business hours.
I can also prove that the company has made changes to their financial structure for me to claim this allowance in my new department.

Any idea where I stand?

Replies

  • tacpot12tacpot12 Forumite
    3.3K posts
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary
    ✭✭✭✭
    Your previous manager has created a problem for both you and your employer, and needs censuring for this. 
    Your employer could in theory ask you repay all the standby allowance you have received since your promotion, as you have claimed it when you were not entitled to it, and you knew that you were not entitled to it. However, your previous manager has effectively colluded with you to claim something that you were not entitled to, so I doubt your employer will ask you to pay it back. 

    There is a question as to whether the standby allowance is a contractual benefit, but even if it is, your contract will only say that you must be paid this allowance IF you are on standby, but you are not so, this doesn't help you.
    There is also a question as to whether the standby allowance counts as your pensionable pay? 
    If bonuses are ever paid, are these calculated on your total salary including the standby pay? If not, you have lost out and have more to include in any grievance.

    I would suggest that in the first instance you try to resolve this informally with your manager. Point out that you are happy to stop claiming the allowance IF he pays you the same amount as part of your base salary AND that this is not going to cost him any more than it has cost for the last two years, whereas if you leave it will cost them recruitment fees and they are likely to have to pay your current salary (+standby allowance ) to replace you. 
    Ask if he will agree to this, and when he will make the change. Explain that a verbal agreement is no agreement at all. It needs to be in writing. 

    If he won't agree to up-ing your salary, you need to raise a formal grievance and include in it, all the ways in which your previous manager's arrangement has disadvantaged you, and again point out that you are happy to agree to swap the allowance for an increase in base salary (If this goes to an employment tribunal, you want to appear to have been the reasonable one all the way through).

    Prior to raising any formal grievance, if you have home insurance and have legal cover as part of this, call your insurer and check that you are covered. If you are, call the legal helpline and discuss with them how to word your formal grievance. They should help you with this, and may take it as far as representing you at an employment tribunal.

    If the employer unilaterally stops paying you the allowance, you might win a case for unlawful deductions of wages, but I think you will struggle to argue that you should be paid the allowance. I couldn't find anything that suggested that one an allowance had been paid for a long time you became entitled to it. Actually I found the opposite - an allowance that had been paid for 60 years was withdrawn and the employment tribunal upheld this as reasonable because the allowance was no longer relevant. If you can cite any documents,links or websites, it may be possible to see the particular point of law that is being referenced, and see whether it applies to you.  

    If you don't have home insurance or legal cover, if you are a member of a Trades Union, they will be able to help. You should insist that they do help as you have been paying your subs for exactly this reason. 
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • DoxDox Forumite
    2.2K posts
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    I know there is law around "regular payments" like bonuses and so on which are so regular, they become protected as part of your salary, but I'm not sure where this sits?
    For a number of years, I've been paid for standby in my job in case anything goes wrong outside of business hours. Just over 2 years ago, I was moved into a completely different role which demanded much greater responsibility. I was initially told after doing the job, my salary would be reviewed. As it turned out, my new Manager simply told me I would continue to be paid standby, even though there is absolutely no requirement, in lieue of a pay rise.
    2 years later, I have a new Manager who has said I have to stop claiming for this.

    I have little in writing, although clearly, I have proof in that I'm being paid it. And I have plenty of evidence that I would never be called outside of business hours.
    I can also prove that the company has made changes to their financial structure for me to claim this allowance in my new department.

    Any idea where I stand?
    There is generally no such law around 'regular payments' if those payments are discretionary rather than contractual. I think you're thinking of the 'time immemorial' or 'custom and practice' arguments - but those really do mean you have to go back many years and have to meet certain other conditions, so I'm afraid it won't help here. 

    As always in a case like this, the starting point is to consider what you want to be the end point. If you are really valuable to your employer, you should have enough clout to negotiate a salary increase. If on the other hand you could be replaced reasonably easily (and more cheaply), it may be unwise to get too stroppy. Much depends on the amounts involved - and how you see your future career panning out.  Have you actually explained the situation to your manager and asked that your salary is reviewed in the light of this development? I note your post says that the only undertaking you were given when you were moved into a different role was that your salary would be 'reviewed' - do you know if that happened, or if your previous manager just took the easy route by telling you to claim the allowance rather than fighting your corner?
  • Cheers both. I'll speak to my Manager about this further.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support