Dh's friend , a plasterer, of a small'ish firm, so no TU or anything. Not sure of exact details, but his boss, just 'announced' that there would be a 15% pay cut. Build Centre laid off 6000 staff on Fri. Whole building industry slowing down. Houses not being built. Effects of Northern Rock being felt. Dh's mate feels he is in fragile position.
But should there not be negotiations ? Do the employees not have to agree to this, accept this. Or can it just be 'announced ?
Any change in an employee's terms and conditions (one of which will be pay) must be agreed by both parties. Technically. Given the current market, though, he might be better off accepting the pay cur rather than facing redundancy.
Employees can certainly refuse to accept changes to terms and conditions. But bottom line is, if there is a good business reason why the change is necessary, it can be forced through - the employer would have to terminate everyone's employment and reemploy on new terms and conditions, employees would then have to put in unfair dismissal claim which would be difficult to win if there is a business need.
If it's either that or redundancies, as Freckle says, they may be better off accepting it. [http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Employees/EmploymentContractsAndConditions/DG_10037116 Directgov]] here about what to do if he doesn't agree.]]