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Old 30.11.2018, 07:07
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Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

Hi everyone,

I have been living in Switzerland for two and a half years, and am from the UK. I have recently made a career change and am approaching the end of my probation period.

I work for a medium-size enterprise (a well known Swiss organisation). Yesterday, I was called to a meeting with my boss and HR, and asked to accept a 25% pay cut, or told that my contract will end in 7 days as I am still on probation.

The reason given was that my salary is close to the level of a Senior Software Developer. Before I was offered the position, I did a test which clearly demonstrated my technical ability.

I accepted my bosses proposal out of fear as I do not want to be unemployed. I explained that my salary was a reasonable number as I have a Bachelor and Masters degree in Computer Science and have further invested in myself in other relevant training courses; as well as other work experience that I have acquired in the IT industry over my twelve year career, which is also of value to the company.

I have worked very hard since joining the company and have delivered quality work until now with the support of my colleague, (my official mentor) as it is a junior level position.

Its very demotivating, and I can be reasonable but 22% is extortionate. I used to earn 100K and now my salary is 78K.
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Old 30.11.2018, 07:16
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

P.S. The company is doing good in a difficult market
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Old 30.11.2018, 08:45
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

What is your question? Or are you just venting?

Ultimately you accepted the offer, so in the end you are letting them know that is how much you also think you are worth. Otherwise, you would have not accepted the offer. They held you over a barrel and you capitulated.

However it is not clear what was agreed... did you initially sign a contract for 100k? Even new graduates starting at the Big 4 like Deloitte earn less than 85k, so if you really are in a junior role then 78k sounds on the lower side but still reasonable and the company could likely find someone to replace you reasonably quickly in this competitive market.

However, if you are longer be happy with this company and the relationship has soured then stay with them for a few months, make yourself useful and either re-negotiate or just leave... if you are as talented as you imply that you are then there should be a lot of opportunities on the market.

PS: I hope your forum username isn't the same as your full name in real life... right?

Last edited by Richdog; 30.11.2018 at 10:04.
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Old 30.11.2018, 08:53
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

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I have worked very hard since joining the company and have delivered quality work until now with the support of my colleague, (my official mentor) as it is a junior level position.
If you are delivering work at the "junior level position" and needed colleague help to do this, then I can see why the company does not want to pay you at "senior software developer"
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Old 30.11.2018, 09:20
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

You are worth what somebody is willing to pay you !


If you're not happy leave, nothing else you can do as if you don't accept, as you mention, probationary period up in 7 days time.......
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Old 30.11.2018, 09:32
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

I guess if you already accepted, you should continue to look for other jobs (hopefully you were already looking during the probation period). A pay cut is unusual, so I can only presume that you were not performing as expected and so maybe further training/development could help.
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Old 30.11.2018, 11:41
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

Your present contract was terminated. This is within the law, nothing you can do about it.

You were offered a new contract. That's not what normally happens. So maybe they think you're not bad but not up to what they thought (yet) and/or considered you moved all the way here for the job ..... what ever. But while the situation is kind of depressing, it could be worse (they could just have dropped you).

Until you signed the new contract (which will put you on probation again, btw.) you have not accepted. You can still change your mind.

If you decide you would like to stay in Switzerland, the best solution is to sign the new contract and start looking for an other job. Unless you come to the conclusion they got a point and you want to improve within this company.
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Old 30.11.2018, 13:30
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

I can only add to what others have said. Accept the new contract, which you have, but work there for about a year, then at the nine month mark start looking for something else, perhaps even using an agency to help you. If you're as good as you say you are (and I'm not doubting you, I just don't know you) then I'm sure better paying positions are available.

The year will also give you the chance to show to your boss the full range of your capabilities and perhaps get noticed by their competitors. If you then get a better offer you can go back, talk to your boss and see if they will match ot else tell them you will accept.

Also be aware this probation period is not obligatory. It depends on the contract you have and the reason for staying on at least a year is that company's are wary of people who just stay a few months and then move on.

My final advice, if looking at positions offered through agencies, make sure they know who you are working for. You don't want them sending your CV to your current employer!
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Old 30.11.2018, 14:22
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

It might be 'legal' but it smacks of dubious practice. 'Get it writing'.. ie be able to show that you were on X now you're on Y

Stay for a year

If your assessment of your worth is correct, shop around for a new job in 12 months asking for at least Y.
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Old 30.11.2018, 15:38
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

Sorry for you mate.

Since you are living in Switzerland for 2,5 years, why you didn't go to RAV? You have an year of 80% of your last salary.

In my opinion it's trickery to offer you a salary and just in the end of the probation period come to you with a 25% pay cut. You may not be performing right now to "worth 100K" but I think that's totally acceptable for such a short period.
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Old 30.11.2018, 15:52
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

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Sorry for you mate.

Since you are living in Switzerland for 2,5 years, why you didn't go to RAV? You have an year of 80% of your last salary.

In my opinion it's trickery to offer you a salary and just in the end of the probation period come to you with a 25% pay cut. You may not be performing right now to "worth 100K" but I think that's totally acceptable for such a short period.
Quitting without a new job is not a good idea, especially as you will be "punished" financially for quitting yourself (80% only if you have kids, otherwise 70%).

Also, 3 months is a short period but most companies do expect you to be up and running by then.

OP, good luck, as other said, stick around and have a look around in leisure
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Old 30.11.2018, 16:47
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

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Sorry for you mate.

Since you are living in Switzerland for 2,5 years, why you didn't go to RAV? You have an year of 80% of your last salary.

In my opinion it's trickery to offer you a salary and just in the end of the probation period come to you with a 25% pay cut. You may not be performing right now to "worth 100K" but I think that's totally acceptable for such a short period.
RAV is not meant for people who think 78K/year is not "zumutbar" (an unbearable thing to be asked to do).
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Old 30.11.2018, 16:57
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

Maybe it was your attention to detail.
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Old 30.11.2018, 17:04
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

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Since you are living in Switzerland for 2,5 years, why you didn't go to RAV? You have an year of 80% of your last salary.
Only if you have minor children to support, otherwise 70%.

And up to two years, not one.

But not if you quit a job paying 78% of your former salary.

Tom
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Old 30.11.2018, 17:08
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

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Only if you have minor children to support, otherwise 70%.

And up to two years, not one.

But not if you quit a job paying 78% of your former salary.

Tom

Major children don't count?
He won't have quit, however he would have rejected the new job and the RAV might not be so happy about that.
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Old 30.11.2018, 17:14
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

Apart from what others have said, and it sucks to have a pay cut.
If you decide to stay:

Ask your boss about which 2-3 things to work on to improve.
And whether MSc or not, you'll still be a junior software developer for the first few years without work experience.
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Old 30.11.2018, 18:28
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

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Quitting without a new job is not a good idea, especially as you will be "punished" financially for quitting yourself (80% only if you have kids, otherwise 70%).

Also, 3 months is a short period but most companies do expect you to be up and running by then.

OP, good luck, as other said, stick around and have a look around in leisure
But don't you think that it's much more logical, and honest, to simply fire the person that is not performing after 3 months? His boss seems like a complete scoundrel. Or the company could have initially offered: "during your 3-month probation period you will earn 75k, if your performance is satisfactory then it will be 100k."
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Old 30.11.2018, 18:30
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

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But don't you think that it's much more logical, and honest, to simply fire the person that is not performing after 3 months? His boss seems like a complete scoundrel. Or the company could have initially offered: "during you 3-month probation period you will earn 75k, if your performance is satisfactory then it will be 100k."
how is that better than earning 100k in the first 3 months and if satisfactory, you continue to earn 100k?
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Old 01.12.2018, 13:18
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

I am not going to be as productive as an experienced person, which is why I accepted a junior role. Juniors are typically supervised and are supported and directed by the senior engineers. Also, juniors are not delegated tasks which are advanced.

Yes, I am still grateful to have a job and learn. I was out of work for a year before, as like I say - I wanted to change my career and it was not easy to change.

In the end, I had two job offers. One in London for a senior developer, and this one. After receiving this pay cut; they are both similar in terms of compensation.

It's not nice. In all my career in over a decade, this has never happened to me before. And generally speaking the Swiss are always boasting about their wealth, so why so much austerity.
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Old 01.12.2018, 13:29
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

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And generally speaking the Swiss are always boasting about their wealth!
Never seen that myself, but you’re upset and therefore stereotyping, I guess.

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so why so much austerity.
...because wealthy people don’t get wealthy by throwing money out the door?

Good luck with your situation. Personally, I’d have accepted and then started looking for a new role immediately, unless they gave you concrete feedback showing where your performance wasn’t up to expectations and you agreed with them.
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