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Old 30.11.2018, 06:07
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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, 06:16
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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, 07:45
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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 Chuff; 30.11.2018 at 09:04.
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Old 30.11.2018, 07:53
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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, 08:20
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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, 08:32
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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, 10:41
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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, 12:30
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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, 13:22
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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, 14:38
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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 01.12.2018, 12:18
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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, 12:29
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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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Old 01.12.2018, 13:08
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

https://www.einfachkuendigen.ch/aenderungskuendigung/

Just put this one through the google translate. Interesting is that it says the boss has to have a good reason (like company in trouble) to cut your salary like that. Else you dont have to accept it and the ALK will not discount you.
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Old 01.12.2018, 12:31
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

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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.



Tip : that is why they are wealthy
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Old 01.12.2018, 12:56
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

Last year my employer where I'd been at for several years told me they wanted to reduce my working time. I said great, I was thinking about going to 80% anyway. Then they said they were thinking "more like 40%". My jaw dropped. I made the best out of a bad situation, accepted the cut, negotiated a higher rate so that my pay was only cut 50%, then promptly started looking for a 2nd part time job to fill the gap. I found one within 3 weeks, and now work there 40% as well. End result: same pay as before when working fulltime, but now I only work 80%, and both employers allow me home office. Plus the mix of two completely different jobs is a lot more interesting then drinking the same flavor koolaid day after day. When life gives you lemons...
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Old 01.12.2018, 12:59
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

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Last year my employer where I'd been at for several years told me they wanted to reduce my working time. I said great, I was thinking about going to 80% anyway. Then they said they were thinking "more like 40%". My jaw dropped. I made the best out of a bad situation, accepted the cut, negotiated a higher rate so that my pay was only cut 50%, then promptly started looking for a 2nd part time job to fill the gap. I found one within 3 weeks, and now work there 40% as well. End result: same pay as before when working fulltime, but now I only work 80%, and both employers allow me home office. Plus the mix of two completely different jobs is a lot more interesting then drinking the same flavor koolaid day after day. When life gives you lemons...
Plus, if one fires you you still have the second job...
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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

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Plus, if one fires you you still have the second job...
Exactly. It's always easier to find a job when you have a job.
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Old 01.12.2018, 13:33
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

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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.
I can understand you're upset, but I've never come across Swiss boasting about their wealth. they may have nice cars, watches or clothes, but the real wealthy tend to be discrete and the well off just normal.

Wealthy Brits and Germans do tend to show off a bit but I've always found the ones who boast about having "loadsamoney" rarely do, they just like to put on a show to make you think they do!
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Old 02.12.2018, 11:56
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

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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.
I saw this now. I can completely understand your frustration at making the move here only to end up with false promises.

For someone with a masters degree 78K is definitely too low. They are trying to take advantage of you. In my experience so far in CH, I have seen a lot of bullying inside and outside work environments. Especially if you are a foreigner who do not knows the ropes.

Do not listen to others here who imply you are not good enough or 78K is good enough for you. It is too low and 100K is not a senior developer salary.
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Old 02.12.2018, 12:49
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Re: Forced to take a 25% paycut at the end of my probation period

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Or they could just have fired him with one week's notice. I guess taking a pay cut may be considered by some to be the lesser evil...
Maybe he just didn't cut the mustard as far as the employer was concerned and those were the options that were given. What else do you suggest they could have done? Continue to pay someone more than their worth? Why? After all, that is what the probation period is all about...Assessing whether someone fits the bill and inversely whether the company is what you expected it to be as an employer. It's a 2-way street.
I think you are being naive here. OP has qualifications, had gone through an interview process, if that's not enough to assess how much someone is worth, then the interviewer/boss is an idiot.

To me it sounds as if the boss has done a shitty financial planning and now realized that he needs to cut costs and is taking advantage of the OP to reach his budget. A salary offer is a salary offer. If in the end of the trial period the person considerably distanced from the evaluation during the interview process, then he/she should be fired.
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