Accepted a new job and now they want to offer me less money...

(62 Posts)
SkittlesRainbow Wed 07-Apr-21 16:44:54

Last month my company underwent a massive restructure and I was put at risk of redundancy along with over 1000 others. I am 17 weeks pregnant, so it has caused me so much stress and worry due to the fact that I could lose my maternity pay. Many people applied externally and left, but I didn't have that option due to the pregnancy and risk of losing maternity options.

I applied for an internal job on my current grade with my 'at risk' status and interviewed well for it - so they offered me the job. I was absolutely delighted and relieved to be safe! I awaited a new contract to come through but then was told that due to it being the same grade, they would keep all the T&Cs so it would just be a line manager change, and we agreed on a start date.

However today they contacted me saying that they want to offer me 20% less than the salary I am on, as I will earn more than other people in the team on my current salary. I have pushed back and said that I don't think this is reasonable and as they knew my salary on application and this is the same grade. Then they said "So, are you saying you are no longer interested in this role?" which made me wonder if they were trying to get me to turn the job down.

Why have I gone through this whole process for them to undercut me after I accepted the role and agreed on a start date? I was upfront about my current salary and my pregnancy with them and it feels like they have not been with me.

Part of me is wondering if they had to give me the offer due to my at-risk status, and they have someone in mind for the role that isn't about to go on maternity leave. Another part of me is wondering if they see me in this vulnerable position and are trying to take advantage. My current line manager thinks that it is an honest mistake and that I shouldn't think the worst of them yet, but something feels really off to me now, and the fact they were almost asking me to turn the role down.

Does anyone have a view on this? Maybe I am being completely unreasonable here, and just over worried due to my circumstances and should just take the pay cut. I am just frustrated with companies being so vague about salaries as it ends up with this situation.

Has anyone been through similar or have any advice?

OP’s posts: |
Aquamarine1029 Wed 07-Apr-21 16:49:09

My view is that they are arseholes who are definitely trying to take advantage of your situation. How could this possibly be an "honest mistake?"

Do you have a union?

HotPenguin Wed 07-Apr-21 16:50:21

I think you need proper advice, but I don't think they can impose a pay cut on you in this way. If you were an external applicant then maybe, but you have an existing contract with the company.

Royalbloo Wed 07-Apr-21 16:50:27

I'd ask citizens advice - they're still answering email enquiries

Sameoldconstellations Wed 07-Apr-21 16:51:30

Contact Pregnant Then Screwed. Also your union if you have one. I'm sure you won't be the first person this has happened to. I'm sorry they've put you in this situation, it's very poor behaviour from them (and you may find they back down once you have "expert back up" as it were, especially if you feel they're chancing their arm). I would get proper official support to help you navigate the next steps. Good luck.

Hhusky Wed 07-Apr-21 16:53:05

Get to your union immediately if you have one.
Do they know about the pregnancy? If so they could well be taking advantage as they don't expect you to fight them and just be happy you're in a secure job so do fight it if you can.
They should have made it expressly clear before they offered you the job if there was a difference in salary.

custardbear Wed 07-Apr-21 16:54:54

Check the restructure policy at work as often they are salary protected - may not be relevant here but worth a ask s you're moving due to their restructure. Also is your pay grade a scale abs you're on that scale now? I'm almost positive they can't reduce salary just because everyone e else is higher - have they done this before? Is it because you're pregnant? You'd have a lot of ammo here but seek proper advice before you do anything - tell them you're taking advice as it sounds strange maybe?

Skysblue Wed 07-Apr-21 16:54:59

Wow. Well I don’t know anything about your job or company but it does sound like they want you to turn down the job.

You need to find a way forward...

- Is it possible for you to check the salaries of others in the team, to establish if they’re being truthful? Or ask them to confirm in writing the highest salary on the team at present? This is a shit excuse as it is not unusual for some colleagues to have higher pay than others. 20% is a massive paycut and its bad faith for them to pretend this is no big deal.

- Certainly this is something they should have made clear at interview.

- I would probably pushback, but take the job whatever the pay, go on matl, then job hunt elsewhere asap when back from matl.

Skysblue Wed 07-Apr-21 16:55:49

Ps worth speaking to an emplyment lawyer: a short conversation could potentially stop you losing a lot of money.

TechnoDino Wed 07-Apr-21 16:58:20

Call ACAS for advice. Do your employers know that you are pregnant?

SkittlesRainbow Wed 07-Apr-21 17:00:00

We do not have a union, unfortunately. They are aware of my pregnancy and I mentioned it at the end of the interview also to explain that I would be taking a period of leave.

I guess I will look at Pregnant then Screwed and the CAB, but I am not sure that it is really because I am pregnant. I just feel extremely vulnerable in this position right now. I just turned down an external position paying £15k more due to this position coming up, so I think my employer doesn't pay the highest wages anyway. If I wasn't pregnant then I would have taken the external role obviously!

(NB although it would have been a great payrise to go external, I would have lost out financially due to the maternity pay - I am not completely mad! At least I know what I am worth out there now...)

OP’s posts: |
Deathgrip Wed 07-Apr-21 17:03:16

It doesn’t matter whether your pregnancy is the reason for their behaviour - but their behaviour must be legal because you are pregnant, unless they want to end up at a tribunal.

Do not say anything until you’ve had some legal advice - try ACAS and Pregnant Then Screwed.

SweetToffee Wed 07-Apr-21 17:03:20

Pain on the arse and not right but what’s more important at this moment for you... job security. with maternity pay and a 20% pay cut ( go on salary checker and it’ll tell you how much by our take home pay would be with this pay cut compared to now, it might not be as much as you think).... or no job

LouisaMayAlcott Wed 07-Apr-21 17:03:41

ACAS will be able to advise if your employers are acting illegally.

Squidelicious Wed 07-Apr-21 17:19:36

If you have it in writing that all T&Cs remain the same then they have to honour it.

What have you actually signed?

Union will most likely not touch this as you have not engaged with them through the redundancy process, but you can be in a union as an individual. Also check house insurance for cover for employment solicitors.

Good luck.

LIZS Wed 07-Apr-21 17:21:33

Contact Acas, I didn't think they could transfer you on a reduced salary, rather that you would not get future rises until others were matched.

roses2 Wed 07-Apr-21 17:23:24

Was salary discussed at any point in the process? Did they originally agree to your current salary? This is quite key here in determining if they are taking advantage of your vulnerable position.

Springchickpea Wed 07-Apr-21 17:24:40

It’s impossible to advise you without access to your company’s pay policy etc. It does sound dubious if it’s the same grade but my employer has policies in place that allow for reduction in pay on moving roles in certain circumstances. If they’ve verbally agreed though you might still be able to get them to honour it.

If for some reason this is legitimate, then I’d take the job, take the mat leave and then get out ASAP to a new organisation

LavenderEast Wed 07-Apr-21 17:26:41

I'd get straight on to ACAS, seems like you are being discriminated against on grounds of pregnancy.

memberofthewedding Wed 07-Apr-21 17:27:03

Sorry to hear this just as you are pregnant. You could do without the added stress. Take the advice of the above posters and see CAB and ACAS. Remember also that you can often get initial advice (to determine if you have a case) for a fixed price from a specialist solicitor,

Has the employer given you a deadline by which you need to respond?

Boringlynormal Wed 07-Apr-21 17:27:03

Then they said "So, are you saying you are no longer interested in this role?" which made me wonder if they were trying to get me to turn the job down

I would reply saying 'I am very much still interested in this role, on the terms that were advised to me during the application process. If you are withdrawing this offer, could you let me know what suitable alternative (including suitable terms) you plan to offer me, as is my right as a pregnant employee?'

MiddayMadDog Wed 07-Apr-21 17:28:48

There is a charity called Maternity Rights which I found helpful when I was pregnant and a restructuring and redundancies were under way.
they have a helpline. r

JackieTheFart Wed 07-Apr-21 17:31:04

I don’t think they’re allowed to do that. I remember when I was late at risk, if I had to take a lower pay grade then I would still get my current salary for a year (I think) and there was no way they’d reduce it if I was going into the same grade! Unsure if that was just a company thing though.

Definitely contact ACAS. They are screwing you over.

Also - actually you’re not generally ‘allowed’ to discuss salaries with other people are you? So they’re doing this precisely to save on YOUR salary and not because anyone else might feel aggrieved.

Tistheseason17 Wed 07-Apr-21 17:33:17


*Then they said "So, are you saying you are no longer interested in this role?" which made me wonder if they were trying to get me to turn the job down*

I would reply saying 'I am very much still interested in this role, on the terms that were advised to me during the application process. If you are withdrawing this offer, could you let me know what suitable alternative (including suitable terms) you plan to offer me, as is my right as a pregnant employee?'

^ this

needagirlsnight Wed 07-Apr-21 17:36:16

You are "allowed to discuss salaries" especially if it's to find out if your pay is in parity with gender or some other sex discrimination reason

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