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A Guide to Bonuses and Your Legal Rights

A whole range of emotions can be experienced if you don’t get your bonus come year end. You might feel disappointed, exasperated, anguished, puzzled or even frustrated and angry. But what can you do if you don’t receive your bonus at work?

Contractual or Guaranteed Bonus

If your bonus is guaranteed regardless of your individual performance or how well the company is performing, this is a non-discretionary, contractual bonus. You can claim for breach of contract, for up to six years, if your employer fails to pay you your contractual bonus on time. The value of your claim will depend on the precise wording of the contract, so it can be important to check that this has been drafted properly.

Discretionary Bonus

Discretionary bonuses are often linked to the company’s performance, your own performance, or whether specified targets are achieved. A discretionary bonus is one where the employer can decide, at their discretion, what to award you by way of bonus. However, this does not mean that they can arbitrarily decide not to pay it for no good reason.

Employers must exercise their discretion reasonably. It would be against the law if they were to make a decision that is clearly perverse. Too many employees think that there is nothing they can do if not awarded their discretionary bonus by their employer. But if your employer is irrational in their decision, you can use an Employment Lawyer to dispute your bonus pay.

Using Employment Lawyers to Dispute Bonuses

Claims involving discretionary bonuses are often complicated, so it is best to seek legal advice before pursuing a claim.

Employment Lawyers can argue on your behalf that you deserve a bonus award. Slater and Gordon Lawyers have years of experience giving expert legal advice on employment law issues such as bonus disputes, which are often very high value. We regularly succeed in negotiating settlements outside of court, as we deal directly with employers.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers have plenty of experience in negotiating settlements while pursuing discretionary payments on behalf of employees. You can contact our expert Employment Law Solicitors for an initial consultation by calling us on freephone 0800 916 9060. Alternatively you can contact us online. We’ll be happy to arrange a call back at a time that suits you.

We can provide you with immediate representation anywhere in the UK.

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