Q: My wife applied for a voluntary retrenchment program. Her separation took effect on April 1, the reckoning date for the computation of the package. It is also the time of month that the company awards merit increases, and is normally retroactive to January. Incidentally, my wife got an excellent rating from her appraisal. She asked for an adjustment based on her last pay, and a merit increase, but this request was rejected. Does she have a right to claim the adjustment?

– Kentucky Man

A: Certainly, if you can prove that this practice has long been entertained by the company.

But before taking further action, try to find out why the HRD rejected your request. A break in the tradition demands substantial reason. Write them a letter of inquiry and let the company explain its side.

If I may speculate–the reason must be the same argument behind implementing a retrenchment program. But you won’t find out until you ask.

R.A.H. Elbo is the managing advisor of Kairos Management Technologies and acting president of Kaizen Institute of the Philippines, both consulting and training companies.