What to do if you can't afford to pay bonuses
Many companies reach the end of the working year, and find they simply can't afford to pay staff the bonuses they'd hoped to pay. This leaves staff feeling under-appreciated, apprehensive about the company's financial solvency and frustrated! Plus, if you fail to communicate the lack of bonus cash to staff correctly, they can bring a claim of unfair labour practice against you.So what do you do?
You can prevent unfair labour practices, say the experts at the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf
. It's all about informing employees in good time, giving them clear and honest reasons for the financial short-fall, and inviting them to be part of the solution.
Before deciding you CAN'T pay bonuses, follow these steps to communicate the problem to your staff
Step #1: Give affected staff advance notice in writing
State that you're considering not paying bonuses and your reasons for this decision. Invite your employees to give you their input and any solutions they might have, either verbally or in writing.
Step #2: Give your employees time to consider the notice
Give your employees at least 24 hours to comment and come up with their own solutions and proposals.
Step #3: Consider the feedback
Carefully and fully consider the employees' suggestions and comments. Investigate the options that may have merit and could lead towards solving the problem.
Step #4: Communicate your decision
Let the employees know why you disagree or agree with their suggestions and comments.
When you follow these steps, you reduce the chances of your employees accusing you of an unfair labour practice. This'll also help to keep staff motivated and informed, as they feel they can trust you to make fair decisions.