My company pays a bonus of 4 months in April (for last year's performances), and once we get the bonus there are no catches such as having to stay on for a certain amount of time and so forth.

If we want to resign from the company, we have to give a 2 month notice period or pay 2 months salary.

Is it alright for me to wait for the 4 months bonus in April and then pay off 2 months salary to my employer the next day and leave? If I hand in my resignation in February, I am NOT entitled for the bonus in April. So I calculated if I handed in my resignation in February, from the start of this year I will have been paid 4 months salary for working from Jan-April. If I take the 4 months bonus in April then leave the next day (after paying back 2 months), I calculated I will have been paid 6 months salary for working from Jan-April plus 2 months bonus.

Logically speaking I feel I should go ahead and take the bonus then pay back 2 months and leave. But some people I consulted with said it is "does not look good" if I do that, but would it matter? I haven't broken any rules or done anything wrong, it is not stated anywhere that one cannot do what I described above, so would it matter what my company thinks of me?

This is assuming I have another job already lined up in place around May-June.

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    Where are you working? That pay back clause is unusual. – kevin cline Jan 12 '14 at 20:06
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    Seriously - where are you working? That seems outrageous. You are running right up on the line of needing to seek legal representation, if that is true. – Wesley Long Jan 12 '14 at 20:15
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    Too many unexplained downvotes. – user11026 Jan 12 '14 at 22:04
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    Adding another voice to the "where are you working?" questions. You're clearly not in a country that most of us are familiar with the workplace practices of, so it's good to mention what country that is. – Carson63000 Jan 12 '14 at 23:46
  • While I'm late to the game, I'd say take the bonus, and provide your two-months notice (wow, really, two MONTHS?). Depending on the nature of the work, your company might even lift that restriction and give you two months paid vacation or will just give you the axe on the spot and send you packing. So long as you can having a new job lined up before you burn through the bonus and your savings, power to you. It sounds outrageous that you can pay two months salary to terminate early. Are you on a contract or something? Which employer is this anyway? – Cloud Apr 17 '15 at 15:45

Look at this statement:

My company pays a bonus of 4 months in April for last year's performances.

By your wording, the bonus is not a signing bonus or a loyalty bonus, but a performance bonus based on the 12 months prior to the bonus being delivered. If your employed has beemed your performance over the past 12 months to be worthy of a bonus, the bonus has been earned "loyalty" or not.

So there is no real ethical issues about taking the bonus, nor should it look bad for a future employer, as you can easily argue that the bonus was awarded on merit, but for what ever personal reasons you chose not to stay with your employer.

As for whether you should leave, that is a personal choice. If you wish to leave and are happy staying until April, while keeping you performance at the level appropriate to earn your bonus, then you are free* to do so.

* In this case "free" means paying 2 months salary to leave. WTF.


It would be silly to resign before receiving the bonus. Get the bonus check, then resign and either pay back part of the money or work until June. Don't worry that it will "look bad". Companies are not people. As long as you fulfill your contractual obligations, you are free to behave in whatever way maximizes your wealth. Companies certainly do.

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    People resign immediately after getting their bonus all the time. – DJClayworth Jan 12 '14 at 20:54
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    Sorry, -1 for encouraging someone to burn his bridges without at least mentioning that he should consider the size and incestuousness of the field in which he works. – Carson63000 Jan 12 '14 at 23:47
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    @Carson63000: The bonus money comes from the owners, not from the management. Do you really think a future hiring manager would know or care that he resigned after collecting a bonus? When do you think he should resign? – kevin cline Jan 13 '14 at 1:31
  • @kevincline - hey, if you think that no manager will ever take umbrage at at employee collecting his bonus and then walking out the door immediately - without even giving notice! - then feel free to do so! But I stand by my opinion that is is burning bridges, it will piss off a lot of managers, and you should warn someone of that fact. – Carson63000 Jan 13 '14 at 2:09

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