Employment Law Attendance Rewards Legal Ramifications

Employment Law Attendance Rewards Legal Ramifications



If you were thinking of​ offering your employees special rewards as​ incentives for having good attendance records,​ then you must read on. in​ fact,​ employers that offer attendance bonuses may find themselves falling foul of​ the​ law.

The Royal Mail introduced a​ rewards scheme for staff that did not to​ take time off sick. Under the​ Royal Mail's scheme,​ workers with full attendance records were entered into a​ prize draw to​ win Ford Focus cars or​ holiday vouchers worth £2,​000. as​ a​ staff incentive,​ it​ seemed to​ work. the​ Royal Mail says its overall sickness absence levels fell during a​ nine-month period (between August and April) by 11%.

However,​ such schemes could have serious ramifications from a​ legal viewpoint,​ and leave employers vulnerable to​ a​ variety of​ legal claims.





Discrimination

Employees could bring discrimination claims on​ the​ grounds of​ disability or​ sex. the​ success of​ these claims would depend on​ each employee's particular circumstances and needs,​ whether in​ relation to​ their family,​ religion or​ health.
Alternatively,​ qualifying employees could bring claims for being subjected to​ detriment treatment as​ a​ result of​ asserting their statutory rights,​ for example,​ for:-



Time off for dependants and antenatal care;
Time off for study or​ training or​ time off for jury service
Maternity leave;
Adoption leave; or​
Paternity or​ parental leave;


Disability discrimination may occur if,​ for example,​ an​ employee had time off connected to​ a​ disability and this was not taken into account by the​ employer under the​ reward scheme. the​ employee might claim that the​ failure of​ the​ employer to​ set aside his/her absence for disability related reasons amounted to​ less favourable treatment.
How can employers protect themselves from such claims?

Employers can avoid these pitfalls by including a​ list of​ exceptions in​ the​ reward scheme,​ for example,​ jury service or​ study leave,​ taking into account any statutory rights to​ time off; or​
Pay bonuses to​ employees connected to​ performance in​ their job rather than implementing an​ attendance reward.
Employers should be wary of​ adopting an​ attendance bonus scheme without legal consultation.

If you require further information contact us.

Email: enquiries@rtcoopers.com

© RT COOPERS,​ 2005. This Briefing Note does not provide a​ comprehensive or​ complete statement of​ the​ law relating to​ the​ issues discussed nor does it​ constitute legal advice. it​ is​ intended only to​ highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in​ relation to​ particular circumstances




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