Pressuring me to take salary reduction due to change of post

(5 Posts)
MizZan Sun 16-Feb-14 17:23:57

Looking for input on the above question, from those with legal knowledge.

I reduced from a full time to a part time schedule at my current job, 6 months ago.

Agreed specs of new role, and pro rata pay to reflect the reduced hours, at that time. No reduction in FTE salary or grade was ever mentioned. Change in hours and change to pro rata salary was documented. Have kept on some of the responsibilities of previous role, whilst others have been redistributed to my boss and to others in team.

Boss has now come back and asked me to take a salary reduction (this is on top of the pro rata pay cut). Has also said he would like me to take a grade reduction, which entails not only a change of title but also losing some privileges (with financial implications) attached to the grade I'm on now. By way of background, I am already the lowest paid person in our organisation and in our team, at this grade, on an FTE basis. And, what triggered this discussion was my saying to boss that I would like him to consider paying me for 4 days a week rather than 3, since I have consistently had to work 5 just to get the job done.

I've already spoken to our HR head and said I won't agree to this, but I would like to understand the legal position. It's clear I have no future at this organisation, despite having knocked myself out to do my best for them for years (with great results btw, which was why I got promoted to a high grade in the first place), and incredibly demotivating to have my contributions valued so little by my boss, but so be it - it's in my hands to do something about that. However if what's going on is illegal as well as just bad management practice, I want to know that, so I can use it in the discussion.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can share. Private sector, not public sector, and no unions (professional services firm).

VenusInfers Sun 16-Feb-14 22:08:44

Okay, hands up, I am not a legal professional, but I have looked into this because I have work issues of my own.
They can not enforce a change of terms and conditions, without consultation. They just can't. The gov.uk website has this to say about it. Also look here for the TUC's opinion.

Marraskuu Sun 16-Feb-14 22:37:55

I wouldn't call myself a legal expert, but from an HR perspective I wonder:
- did you get a new contract stating the new role title and terms and conditions?
- did you get an amendment to your existing contract, stating the changes?

If neither of those happened, your original terms and conditions of employment will apply. If one of those did happen, then the agreed ts and cs will apply i.e. the new role and working hours, but before the latest changes to pay that you're feeling pressured to accept.

Take a long slow look through the paper trail and see where you are. If you're a member of a union, have an informal chat to your rep.

If you feel you don't have a long-term future there, and you want to take proactive steps to get out (of course you may choose to fight to stay in), I would suggest thinking about any training or development that would help you, and ask them to fund that as part of your planned career change. If you can, hang in there, because you could be entitled to a redundancy payment calculated on the average salary over previous years, if they really are saying there is no appropriate role for you in the company.

MizZan Wed 19-Feb-14 14:19:26

thank you for the replies.

I do have a letter stating the changes to the hours. it does not specify anything else other than saying all other ts and cs remain the same.

there was no associated change in title.

the responsibilities are just a reduced version of what I had before (which was effectively a 7-day-a-week job...) - it's not a totally different job or anything.

I obviously don't feel I have a long term future with the company any more, but I don't think they would classify this as a redundancy situation. that would probably suit me better tbh, but having been on the other side of such discussions a number of times, I know they are very reluctant to pay out any more money than they absolutely have to - and in addition, the post I am in, is really not redundant - at least not at the moment. Nor was there any discussion of the previous post being redundant, though it was subsequently organised out.

I would like to understand about the consultation part - if my boss says to me, we'd like to cut your pay, and I say no, does that conversation count as the start of a consultation, even if that hasn't been formally stated to me? how long does that period need to go on? What happens at the end of it if we can't agree (I have no intention of budging on this).

thanks for your help.

Aberchips Tue 04-Mar-14 13:19:52

Hi Mizzan

I'm not a lawyer but work in HR so can give you a rough outline of the consultation process. Basically they cannot change the terms & conditions of your employment without your agreement to it. If you don't agree, there a few different outcomes, the ACAS leaflet - "Varying a Contract of Employment" is very useful & if you ring their helpline they can give you more detailed advice.

The company must inform you of a change in writing - verbally is not enough.
They do sound rubbish though & I would think you'd be looking for a way out!

Varying a Contract

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