Would you work for free? I used to work for a non-profit organization whose business model was not exactly built around the concept of making money. Before I joined the organization, there were times of low or negative cash flow during which the staff were asked to accept a delay in paychecks for a month or two while the company managed to bring in some income.
The management of British Airways is now asking its staff to go without pay for a period of time between a week and a month. Rather than a delayed paycheck, these employees would not be paid for the time they work or they could take an unpaid leave of absence. The executives would join the employees
Is this a better option for employees than asking them to take a pay cut? A salary reduction might negatively affect future salary growth, while a break in pay might cause household cash flow problems. This is the danger of the employers’ market when compared to an employees’ market. Companies can get away with asking employees to make sacrifices they might not normally take if they believed it would not be difficult to find a job elsewhere.
Have you ever been asked to make a significant sacrifice in pay like the employees of British Airways, other benefits, or your sanity for the good of your company? If you have been asked, did you agree to make the sacrifice? And why?
Updated April 24, 2012 and originally published June 18, 2009. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @flexo on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.