Beware of Attendance Bonuses tied to Sickness Absence!

A tribunal case has found that a bonus scheme linked to attendance was discriminatory.

In the case of Land Registry v Houghton, the employer operated a discretionary bonus scheme where any employee who received a formal warning for sickness absence would not be able to receive it.

However, a number of employees were disabled, meaning they had to take time off due to their disability. Despite the Land Registry having made reasonable adjustments in other ways, it still sent a warning to these employees, meaning they could not claim a bonus.

The workers brought disability discrimination claims, and the tribunal held that their treatment had been unfavourable.

The employer’s appeal was dismissed because it was unable to establish justification for this anomaly in how it treated these disabled employees.

Reference

People Management. (2015) News & Analysis: Attendance Bonus was Discriminatory. People Management. April 2015, pp.15.

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