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crudeFool

Flexible Working (reduced Pay) - Long Term Outcome?

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Hi.

I work for a large organisation and in the division I'm in we've recently had a blanket email asking everyone if they'd like to consider reducing their working hours - ie, flexible working, with the obvious affect of reducing take home pay. This could take the form of any of the following:

  1. Sabbatical - between 1 and 12 months (and being paid 25% of salary for this)
  2. Reduced hours
    • shorter working day
    • working less days per week
    • working term-time only

Depending on the option chosen, there is a minimum time scale they want you to sign up to + a one of easement payment. All of the above is purely optional - there is no compulsion (as yet) + it has to fit in operationally with your role, so it's not automatic that you'd be considered.

I'm actually pretty interested in reducing my week from 5 days to 4 given my circumstances and happy to take a 20% cut in gross pay (which will be less net due to tax etc, but that's an aside).

Question/opinions:

What do you think the companies viewpoint will be when/if it comes to making compulsory redundancies at some future point. It could be that these newly part time people are:

  • More likely to go, due to them being part time
  • Less likely to go, due to salary savings being less than getting rid of full-timer?

Anyways, I'd be interested in how you think an organisation would view such takers should things become very bad.

Cheers,

crude.

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Personally I think they'll go with making it compulsory before the redundancies, unless the financial situation deteriorates rapidly.

If the company survives what was temporary may become permanent.

As you say it's a tough call to make.

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It could go either way. I personally would think that the people who "helped" by agreeing to reduce their hours are more team players who care about the company rather than themselves and I would think they were more flexible. So I think I would be more likely to get rid of those who stayed full time.

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It could go either way. I personally would think that the people who "helped" by agreeing to reduce their hours are more team players who care about the company rather than themselves and I would think they were more flexible. So I think I would be more likely to get rid of those who stayed full time.

I suspect that is a bit naive... large organizations do not work like that.

You're just a number on a spreadsheet, that's all.

The HR/finance person who takes the decision to let people go six months down the line is unlikely to know/care who agreed on a reduction of their working hours now.

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It could go either way. I personally would think that the people who "helped" by agreeing to reduce their hours are more team players who care about the company rather than themselves and I would think they were more flexible. So I think I would be more likely to get rid of those who stayed full time.

But I guess, playing devils advocate, those who are part time could be seen as less interested in the company, and more interested in their free time..?

Is it a big firm? What I mean is are you actually a name and a face, unlike my huge company in which I am simply a statistic on a balance sheet. If you are the former I would make it clear to those in charge that you are doing it for "their benefit" so you do appear to be the team player as suggested. If you are, like me, the latter it probably doesn't matter either way, and will be a true 50:50 call.

I would go with what your instinct tells you (i.e. take that Friday or Monday extra for yourself and enjoy it!)

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Why not do this the 'public sector' way and go on the sick.

No business will sack anyone on the sick, unless they want it slapped back in their faces.

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I suspect that is a bit naive... large organizations do not work like that.

You're just a number on a spreadsheet, that's all.

The HR/finance person who takes the decision to let people go six months down the line is unlikely to know/care who agreed on a reduction of their working hours now.

Sadly that would be my take too if the company is very large. The problem is you could be laid off after 6 months short pay and so be even more financialy exposed than you would have been.

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Re-read the email again but this time replace the phrase 'flexible working' with 'f*** you up the a**e'.

This will give you a clue as to how to respond.

Edited by youthoftoday

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CrudeFool - think i got the same email as you! It's now spread to another sector within the company too.

I get the feeling trying to return to fulltime work after taking a sabatical might prove tricky. Into a certain pool and then given the chop would be my guess.

However it has got everyone talking and is quite an interesting development. if i got this 2 years ago i would have upstickcs and travelled for a year (while being paid to do so) however now i'm not so sure. Opportunities seems few and far between out there.

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I've been in that situation during the Dot Com crash; when it came to making people redundant it did not matter whether you took advantage of one of the flexible working options or not, if your project got canned you got canned..

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I suspect that is a bit naive... large organizations do not work like that.

You're just a number on a spreadsheet, that's all.

The HR/finance person who takes the decision to let people go six months down the line is unlikely to know/care who agreed on a reduction of their working hours now.

Maybe. But at the end of the day if they get rid of random people there is a good chance that the department is de-skilled. Isnt what reallyhappens is the spreadsheet says 10 people and the dept manager who knows who is worth keeping and who has "helped" will make the decision.

Obviously im not talking about companies like BT who dont care about survival.

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Hi.

I work for a large organisation and in the division I'm in we've recently had a blanket email asking everyone if they'd like to consider reducing their working hours - ie, flexible working, with the obvious affect of reducing take home pay. This could take the form of any of the following:

  1. Sabbatical - between 1 and 12 months (and being paid 25% of salary for this)

  2. Reduced hours
    • shorter working day

    • working less days per week

    • working term-time only

Depending on the option chosen, there is a minimum time scale they want you to sign up to + a one of easement payment. All of the above is purely optional - there is no compulsion (as yet) + it has to fit in operationally with your role, so it's not automatic that you'd be considered.

I'm actually pretty interested in reducing my week from 5 days to 4 given my circumstances and happy to take a 20% cut in gross pay (which will be less net due to tax etc, but that's an aside).

Question/opinions:

What do you think the companies viewpoint will be when/if it comes to making compulsory redundancies at some future point. It could be that these newly part time people are:

  • More likely to go, due to them being part time

  • Less likely to go, due to salary savings being less than getting rid of full-timer?

Anyways, I'd be interested in how you think an organisation would view such takers should things become very bad.

Cheers,

crude.

There seem to be some things missing in the suggestions. Modern employers would offer things like:

* Make up the reduced salary with increased expenses

* Be able to claim the cost of a second home for when you are not at work

* Free food up to £400 per month

* Free travel you you and your spouse (including trips abroad)

* Moat clearing etc

p-o-p

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Maybe. But at the end of the day if they get rid of random people there is a good chance that the department is de-skilled. Isnt what reallyhappens is the spreadsheet says 10 people and the dept manager who knows who is worth keeping and who has "helped" will make the decision.

Obviously im not talking about companies like BT who dont care about survival.

Skills != cost. Service != skills.

It's much cheaper to let go of younger people with shorter service periods. Costs are all that matters to big business.

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I bet all the people who have previous asked to work term time only are a bit cheesed off that it's offered now when it suits the bosses.

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Sounds good to me, I am looking for a job with short hours at the moment, but most jobs on offer are 9-5, 40 hours a week.

Still a 25% reduction in working hours and pay across the board would have a huge impact on mortgage affordability leading to much lower prices.

Edited by enrieb

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I bet all the people who have previous asked to work term time only are a bit cheesed off that it's offered now when it suits the bosses.

Exactly.

That's why they should say f*** you!

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Hey - thanks for all the replies.

The company in question is BT - I don't think this offer is secret or anything. If you opt for reduced working hours, either less hours per day or less days per week, you have two options on how long you wish to go part-time for;

  1. Min 6 month - they will give you £1000 transition payment
  2. Min 3 years - they will give you current pay - new part time pay as a lump sum. Say you were on 40K, and went from 5 to 4 days - they'd give you a £8,000 lump sum.

If you return back to work before the min period, the lump sums need to be paid back pro-rata for the period you've been part-time. Potentially, they'll allow you to go from 5 days to 1 day!

I've no idea if they'll shaft me, but I'll probably go for it :rolleyes:

Regards,

crude.

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Hey - thanks for all the replies.

The company in question is BT - I don't think this offer is secret or anything. If you opt for reduced working hours, either less hours per day or less days per week, you have two options on how long you wish to go part-time for;

  1. Min 6 month - they will give you £1000 transition payment

  2. Min 3 years - they will give you current pay - new part time pay as a lump sum. Say you were on 40K, and went from 5 to 4 days - they'd give you a £8,000 lump sum.

If you return back to work before the min period, the lump sums need to be paid back pro-rata for the period you've been part-time. Potentially, they'll allow you to go from 5 days to 1 day!

I've no idea if they'll shaft me, but I'll probably go for it :rolleyes:

Regards,

crude.

The way i see it work is that somewhere upon high they look at a spreadsheet, and decide cost of department X must reduce by 10%.

They'll do this now by offering the above options.

Sooner or later, they'll either have to reduce more or be given a new target - it'll lead to redundancies.

Redundancies will be decided a lot lower down the management chain - think team level/department level (Team X getting canned, team Y must reduce headcount by 3).

If i was you i'd have a chat with your manager and say something along the lines of i can go to a 4 day week if it'll really help the company, don't be too overjoyed to offer ;) But as far as how it'll affect you further down the line, i'd say not much either way. Either they'll cut enough and leave it, or not and they'll have to make reductions. Reductions are likely to be on a headcount basis with little attention paid to actual cost per employee - but either way, by the time it's actually announced / you're put 'at risk', it'll all have been decided and they're just doing a monkey dance to comply with government regs.

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Still a 25% reduction in working hours and pay across the board would have a huge impact on mortgage affordability leading to much lower prices.

Welcome to the wage price deflationary spiral.

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Hey - thanks for all the replies.

The company in question is BT - I don't think this offer is secret or anything. If you opt for reduced working hours, either less hours per day or less days per week, you have two options on how long you wish to go part-time for;

.................................

Regards,

crude.

Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! That means BT's customer service standards might drop. (Is that actually possible?)

p-o-p

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Hey - thanks for all the replies.

The company in question is BT - I don't think this offer is secret or anything. If you opt for reduced working hours, either less hours per day or less days per week, you have two options on how long you wish to go part-time for;

  1. Min 6 month - they will give you £1000 transition payment

  2. Min 3 years - they will give you current pay - new part time pay as a lump sum. Say you were on 40K, and went from 5 to 4 days - they'd give you a £8,000 lump sum.

If you return back to work before the min period, the lump sums need to be paid back pro-rata for the period you've been part-time. Potentially, they'll allow you to go from 5 days to 1 day!

I've no idea if they'll shaft me, but I'll probably go for it :rolleyes:

Regards,

crude.

They want you to go part time for 3 years? How long are they expecting this downturn to last for? What kind of job is it that they want to do this with? Do you install the telephone lines?

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They want you to go part time for 3 years? How long are they expecting this downturn to last for? What kind of job is it that they want to do this with? Do you install the telephone lines?

A 3 day weekend sounds great if you can afford it. I am sure more companies will offer this going forward. Sabattical sounds good if you can afford it and get the lump sum.

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They want you to go part time for 3 years? How long are they expecting this downturn to last for? What kind of job is it that they want to do this with? Do you install the telephone lines?

Nope - provide IT systems for customers. J2EE type stuff. It's being offered to many thousands of staff in my area.

p-o-p: don't worry, high-level of customer service will be maintained ;) from that part of the business...

Regards,

crude.

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Nope - provide IT systems for customers. J2EE type stuff. It's being offered to many thousands of staff in my area.

p-o-p: don't worry, high-level of customer service will be maintained ;) from that part of the business...

Regards,

crude.

Is that the part of BTs business which recently reported major losses?

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Question/opinions:

What do you think the companies viewpoint will be when/if it comes to making compulsory redundancies at some future point.

This was exactly the thing that got me as I was reading the options, and I thought, "perhaps I better not chose that option as it might make me more likley to be made redundant".

Personally, I would ask the company to state an official policy that selecting any of these options will not affect your chances of being made redundant later (and that the payment will be based upon the full salary).

tim

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