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Ask yourself these three questions to avoid discriminating against employees when paying bonuses

by , 04 November 2014
If your employment contracts state that you pay out bonuses to your employees, this article is for you.

It's crucial that you don't discriminate against employees when paying bonuses. If you do, your employees could take you to the CCMA for unfair labour practice.

The good news is you can prevent this fate. Simply ask yourself the following three questions to avoid discriminating against employees when paying bonuses.


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To avoid discriminating against employees when it comes to bonus payments, ask yourself these three questions to stay on the safe side
 

Question 1: Did I pay some employees bonuses and not others?
 
Question 2: If yes, what was my reason for this decision?
 
Question 3: Can I justify my reason?
 
Note: To justify your decision, ensure it's not connected to race, gender, or some other discriminatory ground. You must base your decision on objective and justifiable grounds, for example, non-performance.
 
When it comes to bonuses, always record in writing the details of all payments your employees are entitled to. If you don't, you're contravening the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA).
 
In addition, bear in mind that if you've guaranteed your employee's bonus, you can't simply remove this guarantee from his contract and replace it with a discretionary bonus.
 
In this article, we warn that if you guarantee a bonus in your employee's contract and then don't pay it, it's breach of contract. This means your employee could take you to the CCMA and institute a civil claim against you.
 
Asking yourself these three questions will help you avoid discriminating against employees when paying bonuses.
 

PS: For more information on bonuses, check out the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service. The Loose Leaf Service also gives you all the details you need for maximum protection in labour-related problems.

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