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Bonus scheme found to be discriminatory against disabled employees

Employment Law News

Bonus scheme found to be discriminatory against disabled employees

The Land Registry operated a discretionary bonus scheme under which employees lost their eligibility for bonuses if they had received a formal warning. Whilst managers had the discretion to ignore some warnings in determining bonus awards, warnings relating to sickness absence did not come within the scope of that discretion. The EAT found that the very fact of the absences led to non-payment, therefore making the measure discriminatory, with no justification.

Employers with bonus schemes should be wary of any potential discriminatory effects, particularly where eligibility is linked to levels of attendance. In order to avoid this, it is best to maintain an element of discretion, rather than applying automatic sanctions.

Land Registry v Houghton and others UKEAT/0149/14

 

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