Home workers pay
Working from home and pay.
Employers take steps to reduce homeworkers pay.
On the 4th May 2022 we wrote a blog on a London Company getting its employees to work for 20% less pay if working from home. This week we have learned that a survey carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has revealed that 10% of companies plan on reducing pay or benefits for home workers.
The survey found that 4% of businesses have already reduced pay or benefits for people who continue to work from home and a further 13% are on the cusp of doing so.
This follows recent reports that employees of law firm Stephenson Harwood have been given the option to work from home full-time in return for a 20% reduction in pay. For resourcing reasons during the pandemic, the firm recruited lawyers who lived outside of London, it said “the packages we offered were different from what we offer our people in London. They’re fully remote and are not expected to regularly attend the office. If they are needed in the office, we cover their travel and accommodation expenses.”
The justification for offering home workers reduced pay appears to be that these workers have the benefit of living in less expensive parts of the UK. The policy also brings pay for existing staff who accept the offer in line with its new remote workers.
Ben Willmott, head of public policy for the CIPD, said employers that are planning to reduce pay or benefits should “recognise there are potential ethical and legal risks in this approach.
“It could also make it harder to recruit or retain staff if people working remotely are valued and rewarded less than those who have to attend their organisation’s workplace.”
Some employers are choosing to take a tougher stance to entice people back to the office after other initiatives have been unsuccessful. However, employers who want to offer reduced pay or benefits to their employees in return for permanent home working or hybrid working, will need to carefully consider the business reasons for this and how such a scheme would be implemented, to reduce the risk of claims for constructive unfair dismissal and discrimination.
Offering remote workers reduced pay or benefits is likely to have a detrimental impact on morale, job satisfaction and the organisation’s reputation as a good employer, particularly given the current desire for home working.