Bonus Issues / Employee Benefits

It is widespread practice for employees to receive not only a basic salary or wage but additionally various ‘perks’. The nature of such perks varies widely. For example, bonus payments are common, pension schemes and offers to participate in share option schemes are widespread amongst larger employers, and often employers make arrangements for subsidised travel arrangements or use of ‘company’ cars, private healthcare, child care or gym membership. Often such employee benefits have considerable value both for the employee and for employers because it enables them to attract and retain the services of employees who might otherwise seek employment elsewhere. Often such benefits are expressed in a contract of employment as being ‘discretionary’ or ‘non-contractual’ in nature. However, there is a widespread misapprehension that such epithets mean the privilege or right to such benefits can be conferred in a whimsical manner. This is not so. It is vital therefore that when such entitlements are disputed the person potentially liable to make or receive the disputed benefit is properly represented.