Reduced Pay

(12 Posts)
CandAmumny Thu 16-Jan-20 18:26:52

I have recently returned to work following maternity leave.
I work in a field where I am required to "bring in" a certain amount in terms of my salary. Also, in my line of work reduced hours does not equate to reduced work load.
I returned to work before Christmas. I returned on a full time basis until the new year.
I reduced to a four day week on 1 January.
I made the formal request. It was granted. I asked whether any additional issues need addressed before formalising the new arrangement. This was denied. Given that my salary is effectively based on what I bring in, I wasn't surprised when I wasn't issued with new pay details. I had expected to still be given 5 days work, on the understanding I would ensure to get it done within the four days. This turned out to be the case. My work load has remained the same, as if I'm employed on a full time basis.
I get paid weekly, on a Thursday. 2 January my pay went in as normal. The same amount as before maternity leave. 9 January my went in as normal. The same amount as before maternity. I took it for granted that as I had not been issued with a new contract and as nobody had spoken to me about reduced pay, I would still be compensated for the exact same work load.
Today, 16 January, my pay went in significantly reduced. I contacted payroll. They told me that my boss had gone to them and told them to cut my pay by a fifth. This is despite the understanding that my workload remains as if I do a five day week.
I have not approached my boss as yet. I feel deflated. I have been a good employee, always going above and beyond. I helped out as much as I could during my maternity as they could not find any suitable maternity cover.
I now feel lost. I have not been given new terms and conditions. I had not been told that my pay would be cut by a fifth three weeks into the new arrangement and, as I have said, I haven't reduced my workload. I have ended up working evenings and on my day off to make up the lost time.
What would you do? I'm shy by nature and not confrontational. My husband thinks that I should demand a review of everything and demand formal terms and conditions to consider. I'm not sure I'm up to it.
I was always under paid in real terms, compared to peers in other offices. But I didn't rock the boat. Now despite the same work load a unilateral decision has been taken above my head to significantly reduce my pay and I don't know how to address it. Given my childcare commitments and travel costs im not breaking even but I don't want to sour relations with my employer. At the same time, I feel shocked that my pay remained the same twice since the new arrangement and then was cut with no notice.

Please advise.

OP’s posts: |
confusedandemployed Thu 16-Jan-20 18:31:17

Presumably your contract is for x number of hours per week, not y amount of work you do?
If so, then you're stuck, I would think and you need to renegotiate your workload. However if you're still working the same number of hours but longer days to fit into 4, then this isn't right and you shouldn't have had a pay cut.

Cuddling57 Thu 16-Jan-20 18:43:27

You need to speak with your boss.
If your shy then maybe write a nice positive email so you don't forget to leave anything out. Then maybe mention to him that you are going to send him an email and would like to have a discussion after. At no point does the communication need to be negative from either of you. It's just a matter of communication. Be ready with reasons why you should be paid the same ie. same workload.
Are you on commission? Maybe that was why your pay was the same for two weeks? Maybe he forgot to tell HR.
You really should have both discussed this when agreeing new hours.
I am a bit confused how you can do 5 days work in 4. But obv I don't know what you do.
Good luck!

CandAmumny Thu 16-Jan-20 19:42:02

Thank you. The formal understanding was that I got paid X amount in return for doing X amount.
I now receive less than those who work in other roles deemed to be beneath my grade.
The fact that it wasn't discussed with me upsets me more than than the fact that I now recieve less pay if I am honest

OP’s posts: |
GiveHerHellFromUs Thu 16-Jan-20 19:44:03

Do you have the 'formal understanding' in writing? If not I'd expect that your understanding was different to your bosses.

It doesn't make sense to allow you to work one less day for the same salary.

helpfulperson Thu 16-Jan-20 19:46:50

Are you paid for a number of hours per week or for a given amount of work? I recently moved to compressed hours whereby I still do the same number of hours per week but over 4 days. It really depends on what was agreed when your boss agreed to the change.

donkeyoatey Thu 16-Jan-20 19:46:49

You need a really good Employment Law Lawyer. Pm me for more info.

ChicCroissant Thu 16-Jan-20 19:48:31

I think you need to clarify a few things, OP. You seem to be working on the basis that you are doing compressed hours, a full-time job over fewer (but longer) days. Your company are paying you on the basis of a four day week.

Obviously we don't know the area that you work in, but it would not normally be expected to earn a full-time salary in four days unless there was an agreement that full-time hours would be worked over those part-time days.

BuffaloCauliflower Thu 16-Jan-20 19:48:49

If you’re working less hours than yes your salary will be pro-rated for the hours you’re doing, yes they should have discussed this but as it’s the normal thing maybe they didn’t feel they needed to, but it would also be reasonable to expect your workload to be reduced by a fifth as well, and this is what I would talk to your boss about. Ideally they should issue you a letter with your new work terms and salary as well. It would be pretty unusual to be paid the same amount for less hours

Soontobe60 Thu 16-Jan-20 19:53:30

I know people who have returned to work and their new contract mentions 'compressed' hours, i.e. They work full time hours in a four day week as opposed to five days. That way they have the same workload and same pay as full timers.
You assumed this is what you'd be doing. You should have ensured you got it in writing. You need to speak to your manager, preferably via email, and explain that this is what you assumed was happening. You need to make it very clear that if you're only going to be paid for four days, you will only be doing four days worth of work. Again, get it all in writing.

BlueBirdGreenFence Thu 16-Jan-20 20:01:22

Oh dear, it sounds like you've shot yourself in the foot OP. You told them your workload was doable in 4 days i.e. you weren't working to your full capacity previously. Employers don't look at whether you can do it easily or with a lot of effort. If you can do it in 4 days, then of course they're not going to pay 5.

DreamsDoComeTrue1974 Sat 15-Feb-20 21:56:55

If you're only formally working 4 days a week then it's right that you're only paid for 4 days a week.

However .... I think you need to meet with your boss and request a chat about the situation. It sounds to me like you want to do 'compresses hours' so 5 days in 4 ie longer days on the 4 days you work than others, or 'flexible working' or work 4 standard days and make up the remaining hours outside of the normal working day.

Good luck!

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