Court rules fired Belgian banker entitled to extra unpaid bonuses


The British supreme court has ruled that Belgian banker Raphael Geys, SocGen’s former managing director of European fixed income sales in London, had been sacked without proper notice in 2007 and was entitled to extra bonus payments.

“The bank could easily have done things properly,” noted Judge Brenda Hale, one of five presiding supreme court judges, “but for whatever reason they did not do so.”

Mr Geys, a senior banker who says he was fired for being too successful, will now claim about €12.5 million in unpaid severance pay from SocGen. He can also pursue the bank for damages worth “several million euro” more for failing to ensure his bonuses were paid in a tax-efficient manner.

In a case that has been closely watched by British employers and employment lawyers, the judges ruled by a four-to-one majority that an employment contract can only be terminated without notice after the innocent party accepts that decision.

Employers also have to give staff they sack with immediate effect clear and unequivocal notice that any final payment constitutes a so-called “payment in lieu of notice”. – (Reuters)