Tuesday, December 17, 2013


I could have chosen Abba, The Beatles even Argent to provide me with today's post headline but I went with the ever reliable Pink Floyd. I know some people find the discussion of money vulgar and inappropriate in the current economic climate but very few of us can get by without it. You can take a stand against the bourgeois capitalist pigdogs but you try paying for your Christmas shopping with leaves and see how far you get!

As you are now aware, or even if you are not, our firm changed on 1st August this year when two London based directors were taken on. Now under current employment laws this made no difference to our circumstances as TUPE ensures that those 'rights' and conditions that applied before the change still apply afterwards. That is what the law states and it exists not just to protect employees but to ensure that both sides of any arrangement know where they stand. Unfortunately this has presented us with a situation that doesn't seem to be on the point of getting resolved any time soon - or at least not this side of Christmas - the annual bonus.

Now I appreciate that some people, in fact many people, do not get a bonus and I have seen on many messageboards over the years people asking, metaphorically, 'why should you get a bonus for doing your job?' Well in our case the bonus was not for doing our job but for taking the responsibility of running the office in the absence of somebody who didn't want to work full time - this is a different situation to the London office where minimal bonuses are paid in much the same way that you give the milkman or refuse collector a Christmas 'box'. This difference is now the root of much discussion.

The feeling in our office is that we should have been paid by our outgoing boss 7/12 of last years bonus and then switch to the new system. The London directors feel we should be entitled to all of our last years bonus but that 7/12 should be paid by our previous boss (he is still a director of the company that owns the practice by the way), unfortunately our old boss doesn't want to pay us anything. Last week we had a meeting of the staff and we all agreed that we would seek legal advice on this, unknown to us the London office were seeking advice from ACAS.

Myself and the other most senior member of staff have even suggested that our Christmas bonus could be paid over six months but London aren't in favour of this, they would rather the issue was settled and that we were paid in full at one time. The other suggestion we have made is that this year marks the end of the old bonus scheme, this is because the way the office works has changed and we no longer have to run the office full time without back-up - again London have said they are prepared to continue the old scheme but can't afford it at present.

We are left in a situation where we are willing to forgo future entitlements, London are willing but unable to pay existing entitlements and our old boss who has more money than all of us put together (and then some) is not prepared to pay 7/12 of our bonus.


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