Friday, June 05, 2009

Before you Agree to Cut Your Hours...

If your company asks employees to reduce their hours to avoid layoffs, would you stay on the job?

In the United Kingdom, where employers such as KPMG reduced hours rather than cutting staff, KPMG People Strategy Director Tim Payne recently wrote a feature The Telegraph that’s a nice laundry list of things to consider if you face this situation:
  • Why are the reductions necessary?
  • Can you afford it?
  • How long with the cut-backs last?
  • When do they start?
  • How will my salary change?
  • What will my take-home pay be?
  • What happens to my retirement and other benefits?
  • How would I spend the extra free time?
  • Can I trust management?
  • Who decides how far to cut back hours?

“Handing over control of your work schedule and salary to your boss requires a certain level of trust,” Payne writes. “But, if you can pull it off, the outcome is an incredible amount of flexibility in the workforce, and a precision tool for managing costs while retaining talent.”

1 comment:

spicetrader said...

In the US, most employers require each employee to work at least 32 hours per week, on average, to qualify for benefits, including health care coverage. It is this, more than anything else, that keeps the "standard" work week at 40 hours. In my opinion, any reduction in this minimum requirement must apply to all employers so that none will suffer competitive disadvantage. This requires a labor law, possibly coupled with a reduction in payroll taxes. I would prefer to see this minimum at, say, 12 hours per week. Then people and employers could more easily choose a shorter work week, we would begin to enjoy the automation that was installed over the last 50 years, the "standard" work week might drop to 20 hours, and more people could be employed to accomplish a week of labor.