More than one in ten staff say they’ve been threatened with a pay cut by their boss unless they return to the office.
This is according to a new survey by CV-Library, which shows 11% of people claim discussions have taken place about the possibility of lower pay.
Millions of employees have been clocking in remotely during the coronavirus pandemic after the government ordered everyone to work from home, if they can.
But since restrictions have lifted, workers have been told to make a “gradual” return to the office as of this July.
Not everyone will be happy with going back into the office, with the new research showing how 69% of people would actually consider leaving their job if their boss suggested a pay cut to them.
Have you been threatened with a pay cut? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, 74% of people surveyed said they think it is unfair for an employer to propose a pay cut just for working at home.
This is compared to just 19% of people who agreed it was a fair suggestion, but only if an employee now worked on a remote basis full time.
Some 7% agreed that workers should be paid less if they work from home regardless of how often they’re in the office.
Of those prepared to stay in their roles, 43% said they would accept a 5% pay cut and 21% said they would take a 10% drop in salary.
A staggering 6% would even agree to a 20% reduction.
Lee Biggins, founder of CV-Library, said: “Contractual obligations, weighting allowances and individual circumstances will be unique to each business.
“What is apparent is that flexible working is here to stay and we’re in a candidate led market with job postings at a record high.”
Can your employer cut your pay if you’re working from home?
It’s a tricky one, as it largely depends on what is written in your contract – so you’ll need to check the wording of your terms of employment carefully.
For example, you should read it through to see if there is anything that states your pay is dependent on location.
If there is nothing in writing that allows your employer to cut your pay, then they would need to discuss any reduction in your pay with you first.
We’ve got a guide on your rights when it comes to pay cuts here.
The other way your employer could try to change your pay or your contract terms is through controversial “fire and rehire” techniques.
This is where the employer gives you notice to end your current contract and then offers you a new one, at say lower pay.
It is legal to fire someone before re-employing them under worse terms, but only if the employer has followed a process of consulting with you first and they have a good business case for making the changes.
It’s a practice that’s been criticised by union groups.
If you believe you have been treated unfairly and the employer is in breach of contract, you could have a case for constructive unfair dismissal if you wanted to resign.
But sadly this usually only applies to employees who’ve been at their company for two years or more and it also puts the onus on the employee to prove there has been a breach.
On the other hand if the company terminates your employment and you don’t accept the new terms then you could bring a claim for unfair dismissal and potentially breach of contract too if they did not handle it properly.
But again that’s limited to those with more than two years’ service.