When does a bonus become part of the contract?

Hi 😊

A year and a half ago the company my partner works for introduced a £2 an hour bonus to get people to come work for them. There isn't anything they have to do for it it's just added onto their wages. 

Today they've decided to take it away in 2 weeks time. 

1) is this enough notice of such changes?

2) is there any time frame that something like this would become legally binding and mean they just can't take it away? 

£2 an hour is quite a lot for people to lose after depending on it for so long (salary is terrible without it!) 

Thanks in advance!

Replies

  • UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
    8.2K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Hi 😊

    A year and a half ago the company my partner works for introduced a £2 an hour bonus to get people to come work for them. There isn't anything they have to do for it it's just added onto their wages. 

    Today they've decided to take it away in 2 weeks time. 

    1) is this enough notice of such changes?

    2) is there any time frame that something like this would become legally binding and mean they just can't take it away? 

    £2 an hour is quite a lot for people to lose after depending on it for so long (salary is terrible without it!) 

    Thanks in advance!

    There is not a specific laid down number of weeks / months.

    It is also worth remembering that there is little security of employment with less than two years service. So the employer could effectively say "we are reducing your wages to £X per week" (as long as X is at least the national minimum wage) and if you don't like it you can leave! They would have to give the greater of a week's notice or however long is specified in their contract to terminate their employment. So, to answer question 1, providing that is less than two weeks then the answer is yes I'm afraid.

    Even with more than two years service the employer may still be able to reduce wages "for business reasons" as an alternative to redundancy.
  • MarconMarcon Forumite
    7.6K Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Hi 😊

    A year and a half ago the company my partner works for introduced a £2 an hour bonus to get people to come work for them. There isn't anything they have to do for it it's just added onto their wages. 

    Today they've decided to take it away in 2 weeks time. 

    1) is this enough notice of such changes? Unless there is a contractual entitlement to this, then legally yes (although a pretty rough thing to do to employees)

    2) is there any time frame that something like this would become legally binding and mean they just can't take it away? It isn't the time frame which counts - it what the employment contract/terms of employment say

    £2 an hour is quite a lot for people to lose after depending on it for so long (salary is terrible without it!) 

    Thanks in advance!

    If pay is still at or above minimum wage levels, I don't think there is anything anyone can do except vote with their feet, unless the employer is open to negotiation. £2 an hour is a lot of money to lose.
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • BobbobbobingalongBobbobbobingalong Forumite
    51 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 10 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    This really is one of those situations where being in a trade union would be most useful. There is perhaps an argument to run that the £2 has become an implied term and condition and that removing it without consultation or negotiation is a breach of contract.

    If you aren't in a union, there is still a case to be made but you would have to invoke the employer's grievance procedure. In doing that it would carry more weight if you and your colleagues got together and brought a collective grievance, effectively all signing up to the same argument at the same time - you should find guidance and details of how to do that within your HR processes or policy booklet.

    The question of an implied term is subjective and therefore it isn't a sure fire win however, you don't lose anything for trying.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Latest MSE News and Guides

British Gas prepay meter users...

...to pay less for gas from 1 April

MSE News

The 'odd Easter flavours' thread 2023

What bizarre food stuffs have you spied?

MSE Forum

Energy Price Guarantee calculator

How much you'll likely pay from April

MSE Tools