What if I refuse a pay cut?

(24 Posts)
Castreet Sun 12-Apr-20 08:28:31

I work part time in a low-ish paid job but which is quite demanding.
The employer is cutting everyone's pay by the same percentage with some people furloughed.
Furlough pay and pay for those who stay in work would be the same.
I wouldn't be furloughed but expected to work the same hours for less pay and have been asked to accept this in writing.
What is likely to happen if I either just don't confirm my acceptance or write back to say I don't accept it?
I used to enjoy the job but we can manage without the money and I'm weighing up if it's worth the effort of carrying on.

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Dreamersandwishers Sun 12-Apr-20 08:46:18

I think if you wrote back to say you don’t accept, they will treat it as resignation.
It seems a crap thing to do - cut everyone’s pay but still expect some to work, but times are tough . Have they indicated when the decision will be reviewed?
Company DH works for has furloughed several employees and some of those would be first in line to be let go, so maybe it’s a good thing...

BuffaloCauliflower Sun 12-Apr-20 08:48:08

Can you offer too work reduced hours for reduced pay? If they’re changing you contract they do need your consent

golightlytoday Sun 12-Apr-20 08:50:14

It is now an extremely common situation, my partner has the same. 80% pay for 100% work. All the company are doing it to reflect those that have been furloughed. But it isn't fair, as those furloughed aren't having to work.

But none of this situation is fair, and the hope is he will have a job still when it's over.

MiniCooperLover Sun 12-Apr-20 08:51:34

Unfortunately a lot of firms are, I think, using this crisis to cut their wage bills and push it onto people without choice. It sucks 😞

flowery Sun 12-Apr-20 08:51:45

Have they not said what the alternative is?

slipperywhensparticus Sun 12-Apr-20 08:53:37

Is it taking you below national minimum wage?

StrawberryBlondeStar Sun 12-Apr-20 08:55:06

@Castreet they can’t make you take a wage reduction. I think if you write back they will either keep you on the same wage or furlough you. There was another thread on this. Many companies have done this (including DH). My DH took the view that as redundancies will almost certainly happen after this he would rather take a pay cut and work (and show himself to be essential) rather then be furloughed.

TemoraryUsername Sun 12-Apr-20 08:59:14

Are you in a union? Could you check your household insurance policies for a legal advice line? Or just have an Internet browse - it's a common and current problem, lots of the unions, ACAS and CRB have probably written online about it. My understanding is that they can't force you, but I suspect that unofficially those who refuse to accept a pay cut will be at the top of list for redundancy or to be got rid of in some other way (eg disciplinary) without a paper trail leading to the real reason.

Are you still as financially secure without it if/when full and hard recession hits?

BubblesBuddy Sun 12-Apr-20 09:03:00

The company always has the option of evaluating their workforce and making jobs redundant. It might be best to show your job is vital and keep it if redundancies are on the horizon. Small numbers of redundancies can be carried out fairly quickly. How vital is your job likely to be if the company is in trouble? I would weigh it all up.

Castreet Sun 12-Apr-20 09:03:08

Thank you for all the answers and I am so sorry for those who have no choice but to accept something like this. We are lucky that we could manage without the money.
@flowery No, they haven't offered an alternative.
It won't take me below NMW as long as I'm careful not to work beyond my hours (which normally I would do).
Initially they presented it as 'we are cutting everyone's wages' without making it clear we have to agree with the change in contract, but I have just received a letter asking me to agree to it.
I'm not in a union btw.

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Castreet Sun 12-Apr-20 09:12:23

It's for a minimum of three months. Redundancy wouldn't be worry (I know, I am in a fortunate position in that respect).
I work more for the sense of purpose and small income, but if that small income is smaller still, it may tip the balance to not being worthwhile and I'd prefer to do voluntary work for something closer to my heart.

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AnotherEmma Sun 12-Apr-20 09:13:01

A pay cut is a change to your employment contract and you have the right to disagree with it. Advice here:

You also have the option to raise a grievance about it, which I would do if I were you.

How long have you been working for the company?

Lemonsaretheonlyfruit Sun 12-Apr-20 09:15:58


I'm in the same position as your DH, though I was given the choice of Furlough or carry on working. Most were just told. I chose to carry on working for the same reason as your husband. Everyone in the business is also being asked to take a 20% pay cut (so sane as you- same money whether you are working or furloughed) . I'm a single parent so even though I'm in a professional industry, don't have lots of money left over. I am hoping the lack of spending In other areas at the moment will make up the shortfall!

Op I am hugely grateful to my employer for not turning straight to redundancies and taking these measures to try and ensure it stays that way.

I think if you need the money and have a job (even with a pay cut for a period) then that's a fortunate position to be in and better than most.

That said if you don't need the money and see it as a negative, then no one is holding you to it. I'm sure someone else in a less fortunate position to you would be very happy to take your job over.

If you do decide to stay on then yes, you will be sent a consent letter to sign. I would take it as a compliment they want to keep you on but if you refuse it then I'm not sure what would happen.

YappityYapYap Sun 12-Apr-20 09:20:21

My DH's workplace had a group consultation and asked 3 specific people where their work isn't needed at the moment to go on furlough and get 80% of their salary and asked the remaining workforce for that department, including my DH, if they would work 4 days a week for 80% of their pay. So essentially cut 20% of their work week so take a 20% pay cut. They all agreed. Obviously it's a bit unfair that 3 people get to sit at home and do nothing and get 80% of their pay and the others have to work 4 days a week but the company had the initiative and common sense not to expect them to keep working 5 days a week for less pay

Castreet Sun 12-Apr-20 09:36:12

Yes, it's the 100% work for less than 100% pay that is annoying. My job isn't easy to replace especially as I am part time and most others are FT.
Anyone coming to it fresh would need time to develop.
I am just trying to work out what the most likely scenario would be if I refuse the pay cut ... Redundancy or dismissal if it was construed as resignation?

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crankysaurus Sun 12-Apr-20 09:44:47

We're also being asked to take a pay cut at work and most have accepted because alongside the options of redundancy or dismissal is the big looming option of the company collapsing in a forthcoming recession. Preemptive cuts more mean we're more likely to all ride out the storm better with less job losses.

user1487194234 Sun 12-Apr-20 09:57:55

It's shit but at the current time hard decisions have to be made
It's all about keeping the business going until things hopefully improve

donquixotedelamancha Sun 12-Apr-20 10:07:28

Redundancy or dismissal if it was construed as resignation?

It's not a resignation.

I would write back making clear you are not resigning and are happy to be either furloughed on 80% or continue on the same wage.

In your financial position I would not just go along with it.

Since you seem to indicate you would then be on near minimum wage for far more responsibility, there are many easier jobs where you could get the same money.

donquixotedelamancha Sun 12-Apr-20 10:08:33

P.S. Phone ACAS for advice before you do anything.

peoplepleaser1 Sun 12-Apr-20 10:16:57

Companies will be looking to make redundancies on their back of all of this. It's nasty and cutthroat and unfair- but it's the harsh reality of business.

Decisions should be made with this in mind.

Consider yourself lucky to be being paid any kind of wage for any kind of job.

AlwaysCheddar Sun 12-Apr-20 11:19:02

The government is I think I reviewing the furloughing at the end of May. What if you agreed to this timeframe?

Castreet Sun 12-Apr-20 12:36:46

@AlwaysCheddar That might be worth a try.
Thanks for all the responses so far, it's good to hear different views.

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BubblesBuddy Mon 13-Apr-20 16:00:16

If you don’t really need the money it might be better to let your employer keep your wages and you resign. It might help others keep jobs they desperately need.

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