Review of Cleary & Ors v B&Q Ireland Ltd [2016] IEHC 119

Posted in : Labour & Superior Court Case Law Review Panel on 23 March 2016
Cathy Maguire BL
Issues covered:

The Cleary case came before the High Court by way of an appeal under the Payment of Wages Act 1991. The Appellants were employees of B&Q. They challenged the employer’s retrospective discontinuance of a bonus scheme and the withdrawal of a 'zone allowance' payable to staff at three Dublin outlets in recognition of the higher cost of living in Dublin.

The case is of importance for its consideration of three questions:

  • What does the word ‘discretionary’ mean when used in a bonus scheme?
  • If a contract permits unilateral variation of the contract by the employer, does that mean that the employer can make a variation with retrospective effect?
  • What is an ‘expense’ within the meaning of the

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This article is correct at 23/03/2016

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Cathy Maguire BL

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