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furlough and pay cut

Discussion in 'Careers, Employment and Professional Development' started by Andreworex, Apr 13, 2020.

  1. Andreworex


    Joined: Apr 30, 2018

    Posts: 20

    My company I have been employed with for 13 years has decided to furlough half its work force, staggering it over this month and next month, will eventually lead to half the work force being furloughed.

    All senior management, middle management and a few key employees will be still working from home albeit on a 20% pay cut, this pay cut doesn't have an end date and is classed as "temporary".

    20% cut for me is substaintial, furloughed employees are being given the goverments 80% (2.5k cap) plus 70% of there standard pay, so in affect, a small difference between my 80% pay and theirs (furlough + 70% top up).

    I am the IT Manager and the ONLY member of IT, all of the employees are now working from home and I have spent a CONSIDERABLE amount of time increasing systems capacity, issuing laptops, phones, PBX redesign as well as training all the office staff on how a VPN works and on the video conferencing systems which historically, they had no clue on.

    This is still on going and I get called into client technical meetings and sales calls as our business sells IT systems and as the only actual IT person, I do the technical meetings and Q&A on these sales.

    I also implement and support the systems for these solutions out of our data centre (which I built) and the cloud azure/aws depending on the solution sold.

    I feel I should be getting a bloody pay rise not be asked to take a back dated 20% cut - I made the business a substantial amount of money last week and every month I made big sales in emergency/business critical sales to our clients, these were based on my sole effort and knowledge of our clients.

    I am on 6 months notice and I am seriously considering just handing in my notice and getting full pay for the next 6 months on that notice and then trying my luck in the job market in October.

    Am I being a knee jerking crazy man, what would you do?

    Feeling unappreciated for my efforts in keeping the cash rolling and the systems running in while everyone sits at home doing the garden!
  2. ezekial


    Joined: Jan 2, 2012

    Posts: 483

    Hmm this does seem pretty unfair. That is one looong notice period too. I don't know what I would do in this situation
  3. Slam62


    Joined: Jan 3, 2006

    Posts: 7,487

    Location: Monaco

    Cool story, speak to your boss or a lawyer.
  4. Andreworex


    Joined: Apr 30, 2018

    Posts: 20

    Because both of those options are not impartial? cheers for the help...!
  5. PC777


    Joined: Dec 23, 2018

    Posts: 444

    As much as it sucks having to work while others are at home, I'm still working too, I kind of feel in these effectively war time conditions that we just have to get on with it.

    If you quit now, your reputation could take a hit; "Oh he quit 'cos he couldn't handle the tough times" "Yeah he quit and left us totally in the lurch, during a crisis".

    Even if you do give 6 months notice, it could still be twisted that way. Also the job market in 6 months is completely unpredictable right now - we don't know if we'll get 2nd or even 3rd waves of lock down. You may not even be able to attend interviews then.

    So it sucks, but I think you should stick it out, but maybe mention you feel you were due a rise and can you stay on your current full pay instead. Worth a try, better than just quitting right now I think.
  6. Andreworex


    Joined: Apr 30, 2018

    Posts: 20

    Thanks for the reply PC777, appreciated.

    I do think along the same lines as your reply I'm hugely dependable and which is precisely how I ended up in this situation, I will do everything within my power and abilities to delivery what is expected, everyday 365/24/7, ask my missus about holidays!

    Just something in the back of my mind about the complete unfairness of the situation, I made 900k last week at 70% margin all based on a change of product that I bought to the table, demo kits from suppliers to prove my point (getting a demo kit during corona just shows the relationships I have with our supply chain!) and then to ship 2 x 18 ton lorries worth of IT stock while lock down was happening, literally hand balling kit onto a lorry after programming and build of the entire solution - feels like the straw that broke the camels back.

    Not a single exec has been in the office since the lock down was announced but they expect me to, literally a white box next to my name with EVERYONE else WFH or furlough, they gave me a set of keys and alarm codes and sodded off then sent me a letter asking me to agree to 20% cut as the whole business has! Yes, I bet they have as they aren't paying fuel etc to drive to the office and deploy/build/maintain customer and the businesses infrastructure single handed!

    Maybe I'm just ranting but during a war, if everyone else sodded off, I wouldn't continue fighting on my own.

    I will give it to the end of the month and see what becomes, with everyone else furlough or WFH I might actually end up doing little now my main projects are delivered, seriously made me sit up and notice the complete not giving a c about IT by the company though and soon as this is over, things are going to change.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2020
  7. Slam62


    Joined: Jan 3, 2006

    Posts: 7,487

    Location: Monaco

    You need a new lawyer. Your boss will have to explain the reasons for the actions and why it is fair and legal.
  8. 233


    Joined: Nov 21, 2004

    Posts: 13,015

    Location: Glasgow


    self isolAte for 2 weeks and leave them to it

    morally wrong yes

    but make you feel better definitely
  9. drakioned

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Dec 11, 2008

    Posts: 1,176

    Location: London

    unless you think your firm is the best option at the moment and they have historically been paying you above market rate, I would hand in the notice and see how things pan out in October.

    The reputation thing is not a thing, any HR reference is only ever going to confirm when you worked at the firm and what job title was.
  10. Maundie


    Joined: Oct 20, 2010

    Posts: 2,620

    Not sure how a company can give you a pay cut whilst still working? I would certainly challenge that as if you are still doing your job (if you used to provide the IT and VPN training etc. before it's still your job just more people needing it in one go) they surely can't justify a pay cut.

    My main take from all this (not your particular situation but the entire Covid shutdown situation) is how companies treat their staff and the expectations on them to just take any decision made by the company on the chin and carry on.
  11. BongoHunter

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 14, 2014

    Posts: 1,702

    At minimum I would want to know if they company is going to make up the shortfall in the future if it survives. Maybe it wouldn't be as annoying if you knew the money would get sorted eventually.

    It would probably also be a good idea to try and book a few days off if at all possible - you sound like you need it matey and stress is a killer.

    I would advise writing down your key points and looking at them over a few days before speaking to boss etc with a very will prepared and reasoned argument. These are unprecedented times, and though your points are completely valid - people aren't thinking straight right now.
  12. chroniclard


    Joined: Apr 23, 2014

    Posts: 15,788

    Location: Hertfordshire

    You cant just force a pay cut on people, need advice from a solicitor, though given the state of the courts and how long the backlog will be when they open it could take a long time to be resolved if action is necessary.
  13. Bounce

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Dec 22, 2011

    Posts: 1,412

    Location: Stoke-on-Trent

    That's not necessarily correct, they can give a detailed reference which can include ;

    • answers to questions from the employer requesting the reference
    • details about your skills, ability and experience
    • details about your character, strengths and weaknesses relating to your suitability for the new role
    • how often you were off work
    • Disciplinary details
    • the reason you left the job.

    OP It does seem unfair, however given the current circumstances I wouldn't be handing my notice in, as no one knows what the job market will be like in October .

    My advice would be to talk to your boss and sit tight.
  14. iamdjdz


    Joined: Nov 24, 2006

    Posts: 4,377

    Tbh I get you, most of our workforce has been furloughed and I will eventually but they furloughed my colleague instead of me for April. This means we are a man and some specialised knowledge down. Also I'm working at 80% pay and hours too and he isn't.

    But, and this is the big but, its measures like this that will keep our company going. Ultimately I want to still have a job at the end of this and sometimes you have to work together in a harder situation to pull everyone through. If the company doesnt make ends meet we are all out of work so a bit of self sacrifice goes a long way. And if it's not recognised in any way after then move on.
  15. Captain


    Joined: Dec 1, 2011

    Posts: 18,239


    I would do exactly this and i wouldn't give it a second thought.
  16. A2Z


    Joined: May 9, 2005

    Posts: 8,185

    Location: London

    Agreed. Everyone should self isolate for 2 weeks even if they don't "have" to. Reason being everyone else is doing it, so anyone that doesn't is basically losing out on 2 weeks off compared to everyone else.
  17. Hyburnate


    Joined: Jul 29, 2011

    Posts: 14,335

    Location: NN4

    Has your business seen an impact from coronavirus?

    I'd hope that you'd be on some form of commission scheme, seen this happen a lot in our line of work where someone else does a lot of the sales and doesn't get any reward.

    I personally would not be keen on the 20% cut idea, a contract of employment is a mutual agreement. I would discuss this with your relevant manager/director.

    If you're the architect of the systems they're screwed without you, yes the business is going through a tough time but it sounds like you are massively undervalued and these concerns need raising, whatever you have to do in the short-term is one thing, what happens long-term is another.
  18. HangTime

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 25, 2002

    Posts: 27,886

    Location: Hampshire

    If you are financially secure I would do that. Doesn't sound like a great company to work for in the long term anyway. Maybe to begin with say (in writing) you refuse to take a pay cut and call their bluff, they cannot unilaterally enforce a pay cut on you, they could potentially decide to make you redundant but that is preferable to resignation anyway because you then have more rights like time off for interviews etc and potentially more cash.
  19. mrbell1984


    Joined: Aug 9, 2008

    Posts: 24,744

    Stay there 6 months... look for a job in this time. Take the money and run. You might be entitled to redundancy... 13 years is probably about 3-9K I got 8K in education sector back in 2014.

    I would just sit back now and don't do as much work. Let them chase you. Don't sell anything for them either if this is their attitude.
  20. Slade2

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 14, 2011

    Posts: 1,038

    Location: Stafford

    Imho, leaving any job right now where you have a fairly decent salary even at 80% is better than potentially nothing. We do not know what is going to happen. Lots of firms are currently halting all forms of on boarding and just waiting it out for a while, businesses are hemorrhaging cash all over the place, the furlough scheme will help some but not all. What happens if we open back up in 3 weeks only to go back on lock-down again after that? There are talks about this being an 18 month process of lock-down and let-go.

    If you want some advise I would potentially test the water with your line manager. I would imagine if he or she is even remotely good at his or her job they will know your worth to the company and if you explain you understand the situation but why should you carrying on working for 20% less when you can sit at home like the others and get the 80%+70% on top? tell them you are the only one actually doing all the work while everyone is at home so should be getting 20% on top not less!. At least that is how I would play it.