Q: WHEN I joined my company a year ago, I was promised a yearly bonus in January. Now my employer is saying that we won’t be receiving a bonus this year. It’s not written in my contract – do I have any rights as I took the job on the understanding that this would be one of the benefits?
A: ANNUAL bonuses usually depend on two issues – the performance of an organisation and the contribution to overall results made by individuals.
If, for example, your employer has not reached its financial targets for the year it is reasonable to assume that bonuses should reflect that.
It’s also worth noting that bonuses are often discretionary.
As payment was not stipulated in your contract your employer is not contractually obliged to provide them.
Of course, you may wish to speak to your line manager or HR team to find out why they are being withheld. In terms of your own progression, it would help to know whether the reason is centred on company or individual performance.
But beyond this, your employer should be transparent about remuneration policy – clearly outlining when bonuses are payable and what the criteria are for receiving them.
Director, marketing and corporate affairs, Chartered Management Institute