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WA Can Employer Deny Retention Incentive?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by Stevie B, 21 February 2015.

  1. Stevie B

    Stevie B Member

    21 February 2015
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    Upon employment I was issued a letter signed by the General Manager advising me of a Retention Incentive which would be paid to me by April 2015 (or sooner) upon completion of Electrical Phase One of the project (milestone SC14). It stated that I would lose the incentive should I leave the project for any reason. I have stayed on the project. Although the project has not reached the milestone due to client delays, I have been terminated (3 March 2015), thanking me for my hard work and commitment. I have been advised that I will not receive the Retention Incentive. However, the company has since sent me a Settlement and Release Agreement to sign to receive an ex-gratia payment of $10k, half of the Retention Incentive?? I don't consider this to be fair and just business and wondered if I have a valid claim to the full Retention Incentive of $20K under employment law?
  2. terry walters

    terry walters Active Member

    27 January 2015
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    I would be seeing a solicitor about this you have done everything according to contract , client delays don't fall on you they fall on the client changing deadlines. Contact's are legally binding
  3. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

    16 July 2014
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    Hi Stevie,

    It would depend on the exact wording of your employment agreement. In relation to you receiving a retention incentive, is it conditional upon (i) you not quitting; or (ii) you not leaving for whatever reason, with whatever reason including their ability to terminate your employment? If it is the latter, there would not appear to be a breach of the contract since the incentive was conditional upon you staying on the project until date X, and they are able to terminate you before date X without triggering the incentive payment.

    As Terry said above, it would be best to see an employment lawyer. The incentive provision needs to be read in the context of your whole employment agreement to really understand your rights under the agreement and what the employer is allowed and not allowed to do.

    However, you can also give the Fair Work Ombudsman a call and enquire about your situation.
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    terry walters likes this.

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