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Question
Posted by: unmotivated | 2011-01-28

Is this legal?

Hi there

I want to find out if my company has followed the law in the following instance.

We were three employees working together in the same department. Early in 2009, one lady went on 4 months maternity leave, and subsequently resigned.
Our employers split her workload between the 2 remaining people and paid us a bonus (allocated on monthly payslip as annual bonus)>  This was on the original understanding that this would be a temporary solution until they found someone to replace her.
Over the next few months our employers decided that us 2 were coping quite well and continued to pay the " annual (monthly) bonus. They did not pay this amount in December whilst our offices were closed. (as it was monthly, should they have paid this in Dec as well?)
This repeated itself for 2010 - again the " monthly"  bonus was withheld in Dec, but we received 13th chqs (both times).
the annual bonus amount is shown on our monthly payslips and we pay tax on this amount.
Now it is January and it is both our increase months. We were informed that the " annual bonus amount"  (R2500) would be factored into our salary packages as an increase. So in effect, we are no better off and the increase is only on paper but it is not an actual monetary increase.
IS THIS FAIR? IS THIS LEGAL ACCORDING TO LABOUR LAW?

I spoke to someone that is a professional HR manager and she informed me that as they were paying the same amount monthly over two years and we paid tax on it, that by default it becomes part of the monthly salary. Is this correct?

I feel so disillusioned and unappreciated.

I would appreciate it if you could get back to me urgently as I need to discuss this with my employers next week - i need to make sure I have all my facts straight.

Thank You.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageLabour lawyer

re: Is this legal

Unfortunately there is no right to an increase and this by default does become part of the monthly salary.

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