Bonus payment extended to those on maternity leave

Good afternoon,

Please could you advise whether I am correct in thinking discretionary bonuses should be applicable to employees on maternity leave?  Would this also apply to employees on sickness absence too? (to eliminate discrimnination claims etc)

Many thanks.


  • By default, I would always say yes. Aside from the legality, it's a sure fire way to make someone absent from your organisation feel unwanted, if you tell them they've not been any part of your organisation's success in the last 12 months.
  • In reply to Nina Waters:

    Hi Lisa

    Agree with Nina and re the legality: were a discretionary’ bonus be paid to colleagues not on maternity leave and withheld from a a woman just because she was away on maternity leave then that’s going to be unlawful specifically and probably discriminatory too. It’s less clear cut hypothetically with actual sickness but any withholding associated with an Equality Act disability might be discriminatory too and often determining whether it is or not might be almost impossible.