Staff Would Take Pay Cut to Keep a Colleague Employed

Nearly two thirds of employees would rather take a pay cut than see a colleague lose their job, a poll by has found.

The survey of 500 office workers revealed that 62 per cent would be prepared to sacrifice some of their salary in order to keep work colleagues in employment.

Chris Meredith, head of sales at, said the results showed “just how important a good team ethic can be in the workplace”. The tough economic climate over the past few years had helped boost workplace camaraderie, he added.

However, the survey also showed that money was a motivating factor for some – 38 per cent of those polled said they would rather see a work mate sacked in order to maintain or increase their current salary.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development senior policy adviser Ben Wilmott said that small-business owners forced to consider redundancy to cut staffing costs should “assess every other option first”.

“All the evidence shows that employers shed fewer jobs in this downturn compared to the early 1990s, largely because businesses recognised the need to hold on to talent in order to recover and grow. In most firms, the decision to freeze or even reduce pay would probably be preferable to losing people.”

Thinking “creatively” about working hours could help firms cut staffing costs, Wilmott added, with unpaid holiday and sabbaticals as well as pay freezes all being possible options for employers.

However, for firms with no choice but to consider redundancy, employers should consult with staff first.

“In times of uncertainty, bosses need to open up and be honest. Early communication can avoid a lot of internal wrangling or negative politics, plus the opportunity to broach options like reduced hours.”

Following official procedure was also important to avoid the risk of discrimination claims, he warned.

“Whatever the size of your business, you do need to provide evidence of proper consultation – for example, one-to-one meetings with staff – to talk through their redundancy options,” said Wilmott. “It’s also worth taking professional advice before you start the process.”

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