Why has LocalBonus com been discontinued
Bonus or bonus are not paid? This is how the lawyer helps
There are many different forms of variable salary components in practice - in addition to bonuses and gratuities, special payments, bonuses, royalties and commissions.
Three basic types of such salary components are payments that are based on the employee's performance (soft goals), participation in sales or profits of the company (hard goals) and gratuities for specific occasions (such as anniversary bonuses).
Variable salary components are often agreed in an imprecise form. This creates problems as soon as the employee tries to enforce these claims against the employer.
For example, after a termination of the employment relationship, disputes arise here regularly. Because while the payment entitlement is clear with a fixed remuneration (about a monthly salary of 3,000 euros gross), with a variable remuneration it depends on changing factors.
If, for example, an annual target agreement decides on the payment of a bonus or a premium and the employment relationship ends, the employee often does not know how much he is entitled to. He can demand the payment - but not quantify the amount. In such cases, employers often claim that there is no entitlement to a premium. The employee did not achieve the agreed goals.
The argument becomes a classic circular argument if the reason given for both the loss of the bonus and the termination is that the employee has not achieved his goals. Then the termination and the loss of premiums should to a certain extent justify each other.
Regardless of this, the following applies: The employee is dependent on the calculation of the premium by the employer. He has a legal right to billing. In order to be able to demand payment, he must first force the employer to calculate the premium or to disclose the basis of the calculation.
Here the employee can, for example, request disclosure of the sales figures or even inspection of the business books. In such a case, the employee has a right to information and a billing claim against an employer who has not paid the premium.
If the employer is not willing to voluntarily comply with these legal claims and to disclose the calculation, then the employee or his legal adviser can force him to do so by means of a so-called step action. In the first stage, the employer is sued to provide information or to allow insight into the bookkeeping.
In the second stage, the employee then sues the employer for payment of the premium.
Strictly speaking, the employee has various claims to information against the company:
- Billing entitlement: The employee has a general claim to billing according to § 108 Industrial Code (GewO). The employer is obliged to provide information and transparency with regard to the wages paid. However, this claim does not help much if the payment has not been made and a payment claim is therefore to be submitted.
- Explanation claim: Every employee can ask the employer to explain the calculation and composition of his or her wages or salaries. This is stated in Section 82 (2) of the Works Constitution Act (BetrVG).
- Book excerpts and claims to information: The employee can also request that he - or his legal adviser - be allowed to look into the company's accounts so that he can access the figures that are necessary for calculating the premium, commission or bonus.
The legal basis for this actually comes from the legal regulations on commercial agents.
However, these regulations are also applied to all other employees who are entitled to commission. The Right to a book excerpt results from Section 259, Paragraph 1 of the German Civil Code (BGB) together with Section 87c, Paragraph 2 of the Commercial Code (HGB), the Right to information from Section 87c (3) of the Commercial Code.
A further basis for the right to information results from the regulation on Good faith (§ 242 BGB), even without statutory or contractual accounting regulations: This applies if the person entitled (in our case the employee) is excusably uncertain about the existence and scope of his right (cannot know whether he is entitled to a premium because he does not know the business figures) and the obliged entity (the employer) can easily provide the actual information required to remove the uncertainty.
The Federal Labor Court developed this line of argument.
However, it is still only a matter of a right to information - the employer cannot be obliged to calculate the amount of the premium, commission or bonus payment. But there are other ways of doing this.
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