Discrimination law protects employees who have suffered some sort of discrimination arising from a disability. This kind of discrimination arises where an employer treats a worker unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of that person’s disability.
This can be a problem for employers when it comes to bonus schemes.
Many bonus schemes are often worked on an eligibility basis and this is often involving statistics such as attendance. In a recent case involving the Land Registry, employees were eligible and given a bonus as long as they had no warnings on their files. This included warnings around absence.
The managers could use their discretion on taking into account warnings due to conduct but had no discretion on warnings due to absence.
Five employees were on warnings for absence reasons and therefore were not eligible for said bonus. In response, five claims were made to the Employment Tribunal on the grounds of discrimination.
The employees stated that their absences were a direct consequence of a disability and therefore not receiving a bonus was also a direct consequence of their disabilities. The Employment Tribunal agreed with the employees and the case was settled in the employees favour.