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15% Pay Cut Or A 4 Day Week


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Thanks for the replies.

I've discounted the 15% pay cut, as people have mentioned I'd be better taking the four day week at same pay simply because if work picks up and we have to work some Fridays I'll be better off financially.

My wife just got a job four weeks ago (ironic really as she only took the job because my lack of a pay rise over 6 years was starting to bite financially) and works term time only at the local school (38 weeks per year) for 25 hours a week. We have four kids but one is in college and one is leaving school this summer, going to college in September. The eldest works part time in some shitty little job where the employer expects to be able to ring up at the drop of a hat and ask my daughter to go into work for two hours for £3.59 per hour (£130 per month) - of course taxi parents take her on this 10 mile round trip costing us diesel costs! We don't take any money off her as it is what she uses to get transport to college (£51 per month), pay for her lunches and a little spending money (since EMA was stopped).

We already get WTC and CTC and have a small mortgage on a terraced house. We drive around in a crappy 16 year old people carrier that we can't afford to scrap (even though my wife's ex gets a brand new car every three years because he's 'disabled' which he uses to do a window cleaning round and has never paid a penny in maintenance for our eldest two kids who are his biologically!)

I'm actually considering forcing the companies hand and asking for redundancy. However I know they cannot afford it and would have to shut the company down if I do so. Having been there for 26 years since leaving school and having workmates who have also been there this long I'd feel bad if I was the one to scupper this proposed attempt to save the business.

I'm also worried about if I take state redundancy how that works and how long it is before I get job seekers or stuff like that. But if I agreed to the cut in hours and the company still goes bust down the line would I get less redundancy because I was earning less at that point in time?

To be honest in the meeting this morning I told the bosses they are mad to plough good money after bad. Our major contractor expects us to hold six months of stock for them to call off at any time, payable on delivery only and that's killing us. Also said contractor exports all around Europe and when Greece explodes in the coming months this company will almost certainly cut back on stuff like printing!

Anyway sorry for the long ramble but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated because the banksters are coming into work tomorrow to finalise stuff with my employers (who are expected to cough up £60,000 of personal guarantees to cover the previous overdraft to keep the business going) - they are hoping to implement these changes on Monday if possible.

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Sounds like they are coming to the end of the road, and are trying to fight off the inevitable.

You say that if you apply for redundancy, this will kill the company, yet even after 26 years (only the first 20 years are taken into account) this payment will cost your employer less than £10,000. Things must be very near the end.

As for what you do, if I was you I would opt for the four day week and increase your quality time, and mentally and financially prepare yourself for the day when the boss comes downstairs and says "Right lads, turn all the machines off, I've got something to tell you all". You will get redundancy money from the Government anyway so you may as well cling on to the bitter end.

If your boss is a decent person, I feel as sorry for him as I do for you.

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Id be looking for a new job.

Banks are going to be unhelpful in the coming period. The biggest danger your firm faces is the immediate reduction in OD by the amount of a cheque receipt....this means,. although money is arriving, you cant pay anyone.

The Owners should open another bank account immediately.

Don't think it works like that, if only it was that simple.

Obviously if they are willing for the staff to work 4 days per week they cannot have the work for 5 days.!

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Feel sorry for you chap. All your commitment and loyalty results into no real leverage when your company has not been strong enough to look for alternative markets etc.

This is how Small, Medium companies survive, keep searching for NEW business, by having such a commitment to one customer is clearly not in the best interests of your company, so whoever arranged this deal has seriously let you and your family down.

Can I say one thing, one small amount bit of advice. That one day a week, offer that one day to a competitor in the area, use this one day to sell your skill

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I'd go for the 4 day week for the reasons you/others have given. Worth knowing whether it requires a new contract or will just be managed as 'unpaid leave' against your current contract. The latter would be better, as the former will mean that any future redundancy would be based on your 'new' contractual salary.

Same thing happened with my company a few years ago. The difference being that it's a very well paid industry (so people could afford the 20% drop) and it affected a very small proportion of employees (so there was a huge queue fighting for the '4 day' positions).

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These are the options put to us this morning at the small printing firm I work for.


A friend of mine was offered something similar, twice, also in a printing firm. Once he realised the company was close to folding, he passed his driving test and retrained as a bus driver! He loves every minute if it... hats off to him for taking the initiative.

Good luck with whichever choice you make.... 4 days sounds like the best if you can afford the slightly lower income.

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