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Employer forcing move from weekly to monthly pay - two months without pay!

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Employer forcing move from weekly to monthly pay - two months without pay!

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I've worked with the same firm for about 20 years now, maybe more. Throughout that time I've always been paid weekly. When coronavirus hit, a number of my colleagues were put on furlough, but I was fortunate enough to remain wokring full time. Recently the rest of the work force have been brought back. Due to the way the furlough payments work, those people were paid monthly whilst they were off, and now management would like to transfer the entire work force over to a monthly pay rather than weekly. They expect us to work a month in advance, and intend to pay us at the end of the month, which means that I am not going to receive another pay cheque until August 31st.

I never signed any sort of formal contract when I started working here, but to suddenly have to go from a weekly wage to effectively two months unpaid is going to put an impossible strain on my finances, and that of a number of my colleagues. 

Are there any precedents for this? Do I have to agree to this change, and what happens if I don't?

Thanks in advance

Replies

  • edited 3 July at 1:04PM
    UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
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    edited 3 July at 1:04PM
    Well it should be possible for them to give you an advance of roughly your weekly take home wage each week during this period, then make any small adjustment (either way) when your first monthly pay slip is produced.

    All you can do is explain that you do not have savings to cover you over this period and ask them to arrange something along those lines.
  • LittleVoiceLittleVoice Forumite
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    I've worked with the same firm for about 20 years now, maybe more. Throughout that time I've always been paid weekly. When coronavirus hit, a number of my colleagues were put on furlough, but I was fortunate enough to remain wokring full time. Recently the rest of the work force have been brought back. Due to the way the furlough payments work, those people were paid monthly whilst they were off, and now management would like to transfer the entire work force over to a monthly pay rather than weekly. They expect us to work a month in advance, and intend to pay us at the end of the month, which means that I am not going to receive another pay cheque until August 31st.

    I never signed any sort of formal contract when I started working here, but to suddenly have to go from a weekly wage to effectively two months unpaid is going to put an impossible strain on my finances, and that of a number of my colleagues. 

    Are there any precedents for this? Do I have to agree to this change, and what happens if I don't?

    Thanks in advance
    Normally monthly paid people will receive payment at the end of the month in respect of that month.  In that way, they have worked a month and then paid for it.  So pay for the month of July would be at the end of July, not the end of August.  Are you sure that your July pay will not ne received until the end of August?

    What happens regarding your weekly pay?  Are you paid on a Friday?  Is that for the previous week or the same week?
  • comeandgocomeandgo Forumite
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    I have been involved with companies going from weekly to monthly payments and usually for the first two months the company will pay an allowance mid way through and deduct this from the monthly pay.  This helps the employees adjust and there is no need for an employee to go cap in hand to employer to request a sub.
  • SlinkySlinky Forumite
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    I think you'll find you'll get paid for July at the end of July. I'm not sure it's legal to withhold July's pay to the end of August.
  • LongtimeReaderFirstTimeWriterLongtimeReaderFirstTimeWriter Forumite
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    Thanks for the responses everyone. We currently get paid on Fridays. I've been there so long that I've no idea if I'm getting paid a week behind or not.
    We got paid this Friday (yesterday). The issue seems to be that they want us to work a full month before being paid, and if they transfer us over to a monthly system now then the next full month will be to the end of August. To be honest, I don't know if the August payment will include all of July's or not so that is something to find out.
  • LongtimeReaderFirstTimeWriterLongtimeReaderFirstTimeWriter Forumite
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    Thanks for the responses everyone. We currently get paid on Fridays. I've been there so long that I've no idea if I'm getting paid a week behind or not.
    We got paid this Friday (yesterday). The issue seems to be that they want us to work a full month before being paid, and if they transfer us over to a monthly system now then the next full month will be to the end of August. To be honest, I don't know if the August payment will include all of July's or not so that is something to find out.
    To clarify that last sentence;
    I'm not sure if the August payment would include all of July AND August, or it if would just be July.
  • Manxman_in_exileManxman_in_exile Forumite
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    When we did this for ancillary workers at the NHS trust I worked at, we simply paid them an advance which was deducted from the new monthly wage.  In fact I think we even paid them a bit more as a gratuity than we needed to, to sweeten the pill.  But that was the NHS and it was probably 20 or more years ago.  The payroll savings and charges etc saved easily outweighed any extra costs during the transfer.  (For various reasons my trust employed a lot of ancillary staff whose T&Cs had been weekly pay).

    If you got your last weekly wage yesterday, I'd expect your first monthly pay to be the end of July, not August.  I don't see how they could reasonably expect you to work for two whole months without pay!  And without an advance.

    I presume you are not in a union?

    As others have said, find out what your pay T&Cs were, and what the exact details of the new scheme are.  To be honest, this sounds like a bit of a scare story* to me spread by somebody (not you) who has only partially grasped what your employer is saying.  Don't you have a contact in payroll or HR who you direct payroll queries to?  Or even your line manager?  Ask them.

    *When we did it scare stories were rife amongst the workforce despite everything we did to explain exactly what was happening.  Some people saw a move from weekly pay as a retrograde step and made up lies about it.  I know for a fact that after a year those same staff were saying they couldn't understand why they'd ever been paid weekly.
  • TBagpussTBagpuss Forumite
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    I agree that I would expect you to get paid at the ed of July, not the end of August, but you need to ask them, and if they say August, then ask that they make a payment at the end of July to cover the 4 weeks in July.
    It's likely to be more effective is you raise it as a group rather than just once person doing so.
    If they do delay, then speak to your bank / utility companies. They may be able to be a bit more flexible in giving you time to pay if you explain the situation. (preferably before you go into the red) 

    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • MasomniaMasomnia Forumite
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    This is usually a breach of contract if you don't agree to the change. I'd try to agree something with your employer if it's going to be a problem for you such as an advance on your wages for the first month or so. 
    “I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.” - P.G. Wodehouse
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