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hi,

i need some advice on this issue.

i have been employed for the last 5 years and have a very clearly defined bonus criteria in my employment contract.

i hit the bonus criteria in the 1st year and got paid a bonus.

in the second year, the company had cash flow problems and i agreed to defer claiming the bonus till the company was in a better position.

in the second year my boss changed and i informed the new boss about this circumstance.

thereafter every year, i have hit my bonus targets, but have continued deferring to claim the bonus because the company's financial situation was still bad.

i have also kept on telling my boss about this and he has accepted that.

all this communication was verbal and i have dates and transcripts of the conversations.

this year i have a new boss and also the company's situation has become better.

when i went to claim my past bonuses, i was told that unless i had anything in writing to state that i agreed to defer my bonus, my bonus claim was invalid.

i pointed out that my employment contract had the bonus defined and also the criteria for achieving it, and if i have achieved it, then i shd get paid for it.

they have said, i would still need to have it in writing that i had agreed to defer claiming the bonus, and that my record of the verbal conversations carried no weight.

please advice.

Sub- Bonus

Assuming that you are not a workman under the Industrial Disputes Act, this reply is given. Assuming that the bonus is payable under your contract of service and that it is payable on fulfilling certain conditions and that you have fulfilled all those conditions as claimed by you, the bonus becomes payable to you under the contract as you have fulfilled your part of the contarct. So long as you have not given any thing in writing indicating that yo are not claiming bonus for the respective years, you cannot be deemed to have waived your right to bonus. The deferred bonus becomes a debt due from the comapny. However, if the Contract contains a clause that if the emplyee does not claim bonus due for a paricular year within a stipulated period, he is deemed to have waived his right, then probably, it will be difficult for you to assert your right since you did not claim it in writing. So long as the matter is within the administrative jurisdiction of the company, probably this is the posistion. However, the record of verbal conversations cannot be entirely without merit, if you take the matter to the court.

B.Saikumar

HR & Labour Law consultant

Chipinbiz Consultancy. Pvt.Ltd

Mumbai

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