Asked to Take a Pay Cut? What Do You Do Next |

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Asked to Take a Pay Cut? What Do You Do Next

Pay cuts are an issue that no one likes to talk about or face. This may come at the back of company-driven policies or an overall financial crunch in the market. If you were asked to accept a pay cut in the past, and you could not deal with it well, then don’t worry, as now we can offer you a comprehensive guide on how to deal with this, professionally.

Understanding Pay Cut

First off, you must understand the issue, what’s a pay cut? A pay cut is a reduction in your salary. They often help minimize layoffs or save revenues for the company during tough financial times.

A salary cut can be short term or permanent, it all depends on the company’s financial situation. They tend to badly hamper salary appraisals, bonuses, pensions, etc.

Conditions for Pay Cuts

If you are working with a company without a contract, then your employer can offer you a salary cut without reason. Your employer can reduce the number of hours or your working days in a month.

Know your rights

If you have an agreement, your employer cannot reduce your hours or working days for issues like race, gender or religion, etc. So know your rights to avoid such an unpleasant situation for dealing with a pay cut.

What if your employer asked for a pay cut?

Duration for a cut?

In a pay cut situation, companies generally have no definite answer about how long a salary cut will last? Remember, that a cut cannot go on and on, it must end. Companies may know certain financial projects will complete in a few months from now and they can regain financial strength.

You should have this conversation with the company but don’t expect a conclusive response.

Bargain for something in exchange

The discussion should be gentle, for inquiring about working fewer hours for losing part of revenue through a pay cut.

 If the salary cut is imminent, then you should ask the company for something in a bargain for a lower salary. You may ask them for more work-from-home days, or short work hours, etc.

Right Questions

Asking is something you should never be afraid about. You have the right to know about the situation for a salary cut. You can ask them.

  • My job and role will remain the same?
  • Who else is getting this cut?
  • When will it take effect?
  • Is there any health care costs rise?
  • Any change in benefits?
  • If at all, will more cuts will follow?
  • How company will come out of this financial crunch?

What are your plans in a post Pay cut?

Pay cuts and firing have become more of an option ever since Covid-19 hit everyone. So, the companies who are offering pay cuts are also keeping most of the staff, workers, and managers in the best imaginable situation they can. This is just an attempt to avoid losing very loyal members of their staff.

The worst side effect a cut can give, is the hunt for a new job? In the wake of a pay cut, start looking for a job in order to generate revenues to compensate losses.


Just imagine, your company asking for a pay cut. If this is the situation, where you can turn down a cut, take a break from the discussion. You don’t have to reply to your boss immediately. Instead, you should discuss the situation with your family and friends. This will give you sufficient time to prepare an appropriate reply for the company on next day. And then, you can devise a plan for the next job hunt.