What are my rights if I refuse to take a pay cut during the COVID-19 pandemic?

31st Mar 2020

My company sent an email out to all employees yesterday regarding the situation during the COVID-19 pandemic asking for us to accept a 20% cut to basic salary for employees who are not going to put on furloug. We've since had another email a few hours after stating more details which ask us to accept the temporary reduction to basic pay, giving us until later today to respond to accept the reduction. It also says that if we do not respond by the cutoff time they will assume that we agree to the temporary terms. There is no end date to this period, other than saying .it'll be reviewed monthly. Is the cutoff period to accept the changes or not, legal? If i refuse the pay cut, can they terminate my employement with or without severence pay?

CATEGORY: Employment

LOCATION: GWENT

1 answer
  • Summerfield Browne Limited

    It is not unusual for businesses to try and reduce their overheads by reducing the amount they pay to their staff during times of financial difficulty. However, in the UK, it is unlawful for an employer to enforce a reduction in pay across the board.

    For a reduction in salary to be imposed on any employee, their consent must first be given for the reduction to be legal. This means that the reduction in salary can only be applied across personnel if each staff member agrees to it.

    If the employer tries to impose a reduction in pay without having first obtained consent then the employee may be able to take action by either leaving the job, initiate a claim against the employer for constructive unfair dismissal or continue to work but "under protest" while initiating a claim for compensation to cover their loss of earnings that have resulted from the enforced reduction in salary.

    As an employee, you are entitled to refuse the reduction in pay. However, if you do refuse then the employer may decide to terminate your contract of employment by issuing the contractual period of notice. They may offer to re-hire you following the termination based on the new terms of the reduction in pay. However, if you put up with the change without protesting, then this will likely be viewed as having acquiesced the change, thereby losing your right to object to it.

    Employers have a legal duty to staff and if reduced pay requests are to be made to numerous employees, then the employer has a legal responsibility to consult with the employee representatives or trade union regarding the proposal.

    If the employer does not follow the process accordingly and within the law, then there may be a breach in the law and legal action may be taken against them.

    Should you require further information then please do contact Summerfield Browne Solicitors on 0800 567 7595.

    Did you find this answer helpful?

    Summerfield Browne Limited

    Did you find this answer helpful?

Can you help with this question? Provide an answer and receive contribution points to help promote your firm.

CANCEL Please ensure your response adheres to our community guidelines before posting.

You might be interested in these questions

  • Will I be open to redundancy if I agree to furlough?

    My company has requested we confirm in writing that we agree to be furloughed. My concern is that if I put something like this in writing it would mean I'm more open to being made redundant once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, as I am in essence agreeing I don't have sufficient work to do? Whilst I understand the need to furlough temporarily,...

    CATEGORY: Employment 1 answer
  • Can a freelance employer cut wages 50% whilst maintaining full-time hours?

    The company I have a rolling freelance contract with has instituted a 50% pay cut for all staff across the board. Wanting to cut the company some slack (it being a start-up) and assuming this translated to a 50% decrease in hours as well, I accepted. The idea of a 50% cut in wages for full-time work seemed so irrational I never considered it an option....

    CATEGORY: Employment 1 answer

HAVE A LEGAL QUESTION?

Posting a question is completely free and we have qualified solicitors ready to help you. To get started simply click the link below.

ASK A QUESTION
Find a solicitor

Find a solicitor

Use our find a solicitor service to find and compare the best Employment solicitors from around the UK. Narrow your search down to a particular town or county to find local solicitors that practice Employment law.

View Solicitors
The ultimate guide to hiring a solicitor

The ultimate guide to hiring a solicitor

Hiring a solicitor for any legal issue can feel quite daunting. It is important that you make a good decision, but you may not know what to look for and how to chose a solicitor that is right for you. To help make the process easier, we have created the ultimate guide to hiring a solicitor. We have highlighted some of the key considerations you should take into account, as well as some handy tips to help make finding and choosing a solicitor both stress and hassle free.

Read More
  • All time
  • OTS Solicitors

    OTS Solicitors

    02039599123

    37 Answers

    PROFILE
  • Kent Criminal Law

    Kent Criminal Law

    01843 799121

    29 Answers

    PROFILE
  • Integrum Law

    Integrum Law

    0151 649 1626

    27 Answers

    PROFILE
  • Ellis Hass Limited

    Ellis Hass Limited

    0121 746 3002

    22 Answers

    PROFILE
  • Curzon Green Solicitors

    Curzon Green Solicitors

    01494 451355

    20 Answers

    PROFILE
Loading...