In many workplaces, employees are paid regular bonuses - including at Christmas. It's important to remember that these payments are in fact additional ‘bonus’ payments, and even though you have always been paid extra at Christmas, you may still have doubts about this year's payment.


Many people rely on their bonus too heavily, especially over the Christmas period, but you only have a right to a bonus where it is specified in you employment contract and you meet the conditions.

Normally, bonuses are used as incentives and attached to certain qualifications; for example, if you reach certain targets or increase your productivity. If you have not met these conditions, your boss is entitled not to pay you any additional sums. Similarly, if the business you work for is not doing well financially, it is justified in not paying bonuses.

However, if you have always been paid a bonus at Christmas for a number of years you may be able to argue that this has become an 'implied term' of your contract. In these circumstances, if your boss fails to pay you a bonus you may be able to make a successful claim for unlawful deduction of wages. Equally if you meet your targets or conditions outlined in your contract and are not paid a bonus in return, you may also make a claim for unlawful deduction of wages.

To find out more about making an employment law claim, read our employment law guides.