We have an employee out on maternity leave and her contract states she is entitled to a performance related bonus. Should this be awarded on a pro rata basis given that she has been on maternity leave for a significant period of the year or is her leave deemed to be 'protected' because she is on maternity leave and therefore entitled to the full bonus payment?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 2 February 2016
Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

In general, a contractual bonus cannot be withheld by an employer unless the criteria set out from the outset in relation to being awarded a bonus have not been met. Once the employee has satisfied the criteria, the employee is entitled to payment of the bonus and it subsequently forms part of his/her salary or wages. However, the legislation and case law on an employee’s right to receive a bonus whilst pregnant and on maternity leave is more complex.

Generally, an employee has the right to continue to benefit from the terms and conditions of the employment as if she had not been pregnant or on maternity leave with the exception of ‘remuneration.’ Therefore, it would be normal for an

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/02/2016

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Arthur Cox. Contact telephone number is +44 28 9026 2673 or email rosemary.lundy@arthurcox.com

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