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Fairness of cash bonuses in the workplace


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Looking for some advice for a friend of mine.

 

He works within a department of between 10-15 people.

 

The work all over the Midlands area covering diffrent stores.

 

At the end of each season a cash bonus is paid to them providing targets are met. Some stores clear target when some struggle to make it anywhere near, they work out the bonus based on which stores you have covered 80% of the time.

 

Some people work a variety of stores whilst a select few are allowed to be based at one store only. They find any excuse not to move these stores as they know and often boast about how they will be guranteed bonus if they stay put there. They are all on the same contract which dictates you will be required to move yet the employer chooses not to enforce these terms of employment, I guess for a quiet life?

 

My friend has been told basically it is tough when he has had issues before about moving, yet these select few get away with it and no excuse they provide to not move is challenged.

 

Is this fair? Are they allowed to do this?

 

Many thanks in advance for any advice

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I can't see anything illegal. This is the kind of thing where a union is helpful.

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First step is to make a polite enquiry with HR. Quote the Equalit Act if need be.

 

I suspect these core workers may (a) have different contracts, eg, more senior due to length of service, or, in any case (b) management will argue they are "red ringed" because they are key to the higher revenues at those stores. In other words, a genuine business reason.

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First step is to make a polite enquiry with HR. Quote the Equalit Act if need be.

 

curious - on what grounds might the equality act apply here?

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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If the company is monitoring its workforce with regard to sex or racial characteristics it would know if there is grounds for investigation. Some years ago I went on a training course for equal opportunities and monitoring and one company who had people attending paid all of its female staff less than the men by claiming the "womens" jobs were easier/site based wheras the men were mostly reps. A very simple skills evaluation soon made them change their minds.

I suspect that the reality of this case is more straightforward. I bet the people who stay put want to do so and have made suitable overtures to the local manager, who in turn says he wants so-and-so to stay there for operational reasons and they get their way to avoid disruption. Those who get sent here there and everywhere then have a mountain to climb as there is a lot of self interest to overcome at all levels.

Used to be called Buggins's turn.

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curious - on what grounds might the equality act apply here?

 

 

They would be obliged to answer the question. An easy way to assess fairness by finding out the reason for difference in treatment between staff doing the same work.

 

Otherwise, the OP might simply be told to MYOB.

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They would be obliged to answer the question. An easy way to assess fairness by finding out the reason for difference in treatment between staff doing the same work.

 

Otherwise, the OP might simply be told to MYOB.

 

I think it might be helpful to the OP to give an example of how they might phrase that enquiry...?

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Personally I would recommend the OP asks his manager or the HR person for a brief appointment.

 

Spell out the query in a straightforward way.

 

If it appears the privileged staff mostly appear to share a common personal characteristic which many of the movers do not, for example, men vs women, Brits versus Eastern Europeans, young versus old, fulltimers vs parttimers, etc, etc, then it may contravene the Equality Act 2010.

 

If this might be the case, the OP's first step, if the answer to the first question - why? - is not satisfactory, is to ask for the statistical breakdown in simple terms, for example percentage of one versus the other. Follow it up with a polite letter or email, and keep a copy of it, just in case he is victimised for asking. Quote the Equality Act 2010 in the header, to make it clear.

 

He should expect to have an answer within six weeks.

 

If the answer to the first question, "why?" is reasonable, then at least his mind will be put at rest, without needing to take the matter any further.

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Personally, I can't see any real grounds to apply the Equality Act here. Alleging or insinuating discrimination is highly offensive and should only be done very carefully. I don't think it is wise to do that unless there are real grounds to think that there might be an equality concern.

 

It is unfair but I don't think it is unlawful. I guess your friend could try and refuse to move as well.

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