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Wage sacrifices: what can your employer ask of you?

wage sacrifices, less salary due to financial problems employer

Many employers have a hard time during the corona crisis. The government measures have a major impact on the economy, causing many companies to have less income - sometimes none at all. Some employers ask their employees for help: for example by temporarily settling for a lower income, fewer bonuses or a discount on your holiday pay. Your employer may ask you to make such wage sacrifices. But do you also have to agree? Our experts explain.

What are wage offerings?

If your employer wants to temporarily change your employment conditions due to an (economic) crisis, this is a wage sacrifice. It is often an appeal to your solidarity, loyalty and collegiality: 'then maybe we will make it'. Ailing companies sometimes make this appeal to their employees, but in times of crisis the number of wage sacrifice requests increases. That was the case during the credit crisis, and we are now seeing it happening again. Especially employers who do not claim a government allowance, such as the Emergency Bridging Measure for Retention of Work (NOW), see wage sacrifices as a serious option.

Which wage offers can your employer ask for?

If your employer asks you to make a wage offer, it is always a financial saving tool. This can take different forms:

  • Temporarily less wages
  • Less or no holiday pay
  • Give up bonus or 13th month
  • Work unpaid for a day

Do you have to agree to such a wage offering?

First of all: your employer is always allowed to ask you to make a wage sacrifice. He just can't impose it on you, and you don't have to agree. You have an agreement with your employer against the conditions from your collective labor agreement, contract or company regulations. Even if all your colleagues agree, that does not mean that you have to say 'yes'.

What are the consequences of a wage offering?

A wage offer means that you temporarily agree to less wages, holiday pay or bonus. But it also has consequences for your pension accrual, WW and WIA. Which those are? That depends on your situation. Call or email us and we will find out together.

More information

Has your employer asked you for a wage offer, and do you want to know what that means for you? Or do you have questions about this article, corona and your work? Please do not hesitate to contact our Service Center. We are available every working day from 8.00 a.m. to 18.00 p.m., on 0345 851 963 and