The query is a urgent one for a lot of (Image: Getty)

An nameless senior minister has stated that civil servants who refuse to return to the workplace ought to have their wages lower.

The minister in query claimed it’s unfair that these working from house ought to obtain the identical advantages as those that commute.

The query is a urgent one.

In a survey carried out by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics (ONS), information confirmed 25.9% – or 8.four million individuals – had been finishing duties from their house in some unspecified time in the future throughout 2020.

Regardless of the transfer again to workplace working, a excessive variety of individuals will proceed to operate remotely. A hybrid mannequin is on the rise. The pandemic modified the way in which we work and stay with many discerning the true price of dwelling and commuting in company hubs.

However does an employer have the suitable to chop your wages in the event you select to make money working from home long run?

HR specialist Donna Obstfeld says it’s situational.

‘It will depend on whether or not or not there are any provisions within the contract of employment or commerce union agreements,’ she tells

‘Nonetheless as a complete, usually, employers can’t simply lower somebody’s wage due to working from house.

‘Whether or not somebody lives 5 minutes from the workplace or two hours from the workplace doesn’t get considered when making a job provide, and subsequently following the identical idea, somebody is paid for the job they do, not for the place they work or stay.’

If employers had been to vary the phrases of contract, Donna explains they’d be diving right into a sea of authorized points.

‘It could undergo a authorized course of,’ she says. ‘The unique contract must be terminated and an organization wants correct grounds to do this. In the meantime, it’s a nightmare for them as a result of they should do it for everybody, in any other case they’re liable to discrimination.’

Nicola Callaghan, Managing Director at HR Caddy, notes that some employers can scale back the pay of workers if a mutual settlement is reached.

Man working from home at laptop in window

Negotiation could also be required (Image: Getty Photos/fStop)

‘It must be performed through a technique of negotiation and would require settlement between each events,’ she explains. ‘Within the UK there are very particular guidelines about equal work and equal pay if two workers are doing like for like work and have related productiveness and obligations.

‘So in a case the place one works from house and is paid much less, then critical questions can be requested and can possible result in potential authorized claims.’

Nicola emphasises that deciding to scale back pay for versatile working is a dangerous method for an employer to take as a number of different routes might obtain the identical efficiencies.

‘If a enterprise wants to scale back its prices, together with staffing prices, this must be performed in a extra structured method and observe a course of, simply as most companies would do in each different occasion,’ she advises.

‘Processes are supposed to guard companies and employees and be sure that discussions like this happen in a good and constant method, and the explanations for the adjustments are based mostly on sound enterprise causes. 

‘Stating {that a} house employee is much less priceless as an worker than their counterpart coming into an workplace is kind of a high-risk method in my view. Any employers considering of implementing the same method to avoid wasting prices ought to ask themselves – is it instantly clear what the drivers for the wage reductions are? And is there an acceptance that they’re doing a special job from house?’

She continues: ‘If this can be a route employers are contemplating we’d advise that they proof the variations by outlining plenty of larger duty/larger worth duties which are being undertaken by the workplace employees, that may solely be accomplished within the workplace. 

‘This may occasionally then help a sound argument to contemplate these adjustments, however this nonetheless must be approached very cautiously.’

When you want to make money working from home long run, are there particular steps to take when arranging with administration?

Donna says that almost all firms may have a versatile working coverage and this must be utilised at negotiation stage.

‘Initially these insurance policies had been just for sure employees,’ she explains. ‘However that has turn into broader within the majority. If one is in place, after 26 weeks you might be allowed to use for versatile working and that’s the primary mechanism you must use when on the lookout for everlasting change.

‘There are many completely different mixtures that come beneath versatile working now additionally so it may be fleshed out between each events to see what works finest.’

In the meantime, simply since you want to make money working from home doesn’t imply it is going to be permitted. Donna notes that the present legislation states workers must proper to request versatile working however an organization doesn’t must grant it.

And if the workplace returns and also you determine to work remotely with out permission, you might be liable to termination. But, there are exceptions, particularly throughout a pandemic.

‘In case your contract says that you’ll work in a selected place, and that’s the place you’re contracted to, something that you just refuse to do would doubtlessly be placing you in breach of contract,’ she says.

‘Now, the exception to that may be in the event you imagine that there’s an imminent hazard to your well being and security.

‘When you actually imagine that there’s a right away hazard to your well being and security or there are practices placing you in danger, you have got grounds.

‘And earlier than an employer decides to fireplace any individual as a result of they refused to return into the workplace, administration must ensure that they’re following all Covid security tips.’

Do you have got a narrative to share?

Ship us an electronic mail at

MORE : Find out how to deal with the ‘hybrid working headache’

MORE : The way you and your workers can take break day work with out risking what you are promoting

MORE : You may get paid to stay and work on this beautiful distant island off Cornwall


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here