An employee who has been receiving an additional payment from 2003 to date for additional duties/responsibilities has now received a letter advising them that this allowance with be withdrawn as it does not meet Policy/Procedures. May an allowance be withdrawn without any negotiations/discussions and with no Policy/Procedures available?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 7 February 2012
Barry Walsh
McDowell Purcell
Issues covered:

If the additional duties and the basis on which the allowance is paid is clearly documented or otherwise identified, then the employer may be entitled to withdraw the allowance if the duties are genuinely no longer required.

However, an "allowance" that has been in place for 8 years is, due to the passage of time if nothing else, now more likely to be considered base pay. Therefore the most prudent approach for an employer would be to treat the removal of the allowance as it would treat a proposed reduction in base pay.

There have been many salary reductions implemented by employers in Ireland since the economic downturn and many of these have been successfully introduced, sometimes even on

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Barry Walsh
McDowell Purcell

The main content of this article was provided by Barry Walsh. Contact telephone number is +353 1 828 0600 or email

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