IBM Worker who’s been on Sick Leave for 15 Years Sues Company for NOT Giving him a Pay Raise

A senior IT worker at IBM UK who has been on sick leave for the last fifteen years has sued his employer for not giving him a salary raise in the meantime.

The tech giant hired 50-year-old Ian Clifford in 2000; however, due to his health issues and mental health problems, Ian was granted an extended leave in 2008. Four years later, in 2012, he was diagnosed with stage four leukemia.

Ian’s LinkedIn profile shows he has been medically retired since 2013. Although the company’s health plan guaranteed him to receive over 54,000 pounds a year until the age of 65, Clifford has taken the matter to court and stated that the tech giant hadn’t increased his £54K salary in the last fifteen years and due to inflation, the amount is not enough.

“He had been guaranteed to receive £54,000 until the age of 65 under the company’s health plan, but last year he sued the company for disability discrimination because IBM had not reviewed his pay since 2013,” per Daily Mail.

“An employment tribunal in Reading, Berkshire, dismissed his claim and a judge told Mr Clifford he had been given a ‘very substantial benefit’ and ‘favorable treatment,’ pocketing more than £1.5 million from the company since he left his job.”

Speaking to The Telegraph, Clifford said it’s not greedy to ask for a pay raise given the whole economic situation in the country when inflation is constantly on the rise, and it’s difficult for people to make ends meet.

He also said there is a bleak chance for him to remain alive till he turns 65, and he wants his son to have financial security after he is gone.

“I am on chemotherapy and have been for many years and have been extremely unwell,” Ian told The Telegraph. “Your salary affects your debt service, pension, and everything else, it was more for my family.”

“People may think, yes, it’s generous, but firstly those amounts are gross, not taxed. … I do pay National Insurance on those amounts,” he added. “I have a son [who is] off to university. Your mortgage doesn’t go down because you are sick.”

The father-of-one started working for an American software development company, Lotus Development, in 2000 after IBM purchased it in 1995.

According to The Mirror, “He went on sick leave in September 2008 and remained off work until 2013, when he had raised a grievance. Under the grievance, Mr. Clifford complained that he hadn’t received a pay rise and also complained about holiday pay for the five-year period.”

Later that year, Clifford who was in his mid-30s back then reached a compromise agreement with the company who agreed to pay him 54,000 pounds on annual basis with no obligation to work.

“An employee on the plan has a “right”, until recovery, retirement, or death if earlier, to be paid 75 per cent of agreed earnings. In Mr Clifford’s case, his agreed salary was £72,037 – meaning from 2013 he would be paid £54,028 per year after 25 per cent was deducted,” The Mirror reported.

So, in 2022, Ian filed a lawsuit against IBM, claiming their offer was not generous and he has been mistreated with no salary increment since 2013.

“The point of the plan was to give security to employees not able to work – that was not achieved if payments were forever frozen,” he told The Telegraph.

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Sources: The Telegraph – The MirrorDaily Mail

1 comment
  1. Dude you don’t work.. so you aren’t earning a raise. You were offered a set salary for doing what? I get your sick im sorry you and your family are going through it.. but lf situation was reversed would you offer a raise to someone not producing any benefit to your company? Most likely not.. and paying someone else to do the job . It doesn’t make sense. Around here you wouldn’t get that deal.. youd have to try for disability .. and hope you could get it. But the company would let you go after a while.. replace you with someone productive in the company. You might have a pension if youd been there a while.. so be thankful you get anything. And your son can get a job if hes old enough.. do him good to learn how to taje care of himself. Personal opinion. Ive had full time work since i was 16.. and im 51 now. I wish the best for your family.

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