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Toronto Employment Lawyers Advising Employees on Bonuses, Commissions, Stock Options, and Other Incentive Plans 

Employees are often provided with various forms of compensation above and beyond their base salary. This can mean that a salary will represent only a minor part of an employee’s total pay. Other common forms of compensation include bonuses, commissions, stock options, and other incentive plans. If your employment agreement or executive employment agreement includes any of these forms of payment, it is imperative to obtain guidance from an employment lawyer to ensure your rights are protected and that the terms are maximally in your favour.

At Sultan Lawyers, our knowledgeable team of employment lawyers can review any alternative compensation plan to which you may be subject and negotiate with your employer if necessary. In addition, where there is a dispute over compensation, or an employer has denied compensation for any reason, we are ready to defend your rights and represent your interests. Whether this is assisting you through negotiating or directly bringing a claim against your employer, we don’t hesitate to move matters forward in a timely manner so that you receive the pay you are entitled to as quickly as possible.

Employee Incentive Plans in Ontario 

Employee incentive plans can be used for many reasons. Their main objective is to motivate employees to meet targets and goals and to reward them for good performance.

The format of incentive plans will depend on several things including the size of an employer, the number of employees, which employees are eligible for the plan, the purpose behind the incentive plan, etc.

Common types of incentive plans include:

Profit sharing 

Profit sharing is a common incentive structure used by employers of all sizes across various industries. As the name suggests, profit sharing works by offering employees the possibility of sharing in a company’s profits. In this type of arrangement, an employee receives a percentage of their company’s profits based on quarterly or annual earnings. There can be restrictions on how or when an employee can withdraw the amounts they are entitled to, or other limitations put on employees under such plans. Employees with questions about their profit sharing arrangement should consult with a knowledgeable employment lawyer.


Employees in industries which are heavily focused on meeting targets, such as sales, are often subject to commission plans. In such arrangements, the employees make a base salary, and additional compensation (their commission) where they meet or exceed targets or goals set by the employer. Base salaries and commission structures will vary from organization to organization. Employees with questions about their commission plan should consult with a knowledgeable employment lawyer.

Stock options 

Some employers provide employees with an employee stock option. Employee stock options offer employees the right to buy a certain number of shares in the company at a particular price during a specified period of time. Employee stock option plans are rarely straightforward and may depend on the success of the organization. Employees who opt into a stock option plan may, for instance, have to wait for stock prices to increase or for a vesting period to pass before they can use this incentive. Employees with questions about their stock option plan should consult with an employment lawyer with experience advising employees on such matters.


Bonuses are the most common incentive plan offered by employers. While many employees think that a bonus is additional money received above and beyond a base salary, bonuses can actually be structured in a variety of different ways and can include things such as additional vacation days, an end of year dinner or other celebrations hosted by the employer, or a gift provided by the employer. Bonuses can be paid out or given at the end of the calendar year, the end of a company’s fiscal year, can be tied to meeting certain targets or goals, can be related to the number of years an employee works for a company, or any number of other arrangements. Employees with questions about bonuses should consult with an experienced employment lawyer.

Contact Sultan Lawyers in Toronto for Legal Guidance on Bonuses and Other Incentives 

At Sultan Lawyers, our team of strategic employment lawyers can make sure you are fairly compensated for your work and receive maximum benefits. Let us review your compensation plan, negotiate with your employer, and represent you in any related disputes. Contact us online or at 416-214-5111 for a consultation.

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