What to do if your boss cuts your hours to make you quit

What should you do if your boss cuts your hours to make you quit?

The best thing to do when a boss is trying to make you quit is find new employment. Reducing your hours may be against your initial employee contract, which means you can refuse the change in schedule. Refusing a changing schedule may result in termination or you leaving the company, which you may be able to file a legal claim.

Imagine, being able to stand up to your boss who wants you to quit your job. Maybe your company is going through a rough patch and they need to cut costs.

Either way, employees are often subject to employers cutting hours.

Luckily for you, I’ll show you why employers cut hours and what your options are if that happens to you. I’ll show you some of the best strategies to come out ahead, and maybe even get a pay increase.

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Why do employers cut hours?

Employers may cut down hours for a number of reasons. Businesses may need to reduce costs during times of poor business performance or your position may no longer be the primary focus of the business. Sometimes businesses will reduce the number of hours worked to reduce the risk of layoffs.

All businesses have an income and expenses. The goal of the business is to make more than they spend to make a profit. Anything that may cause profits to be jeopardized may cause employers to cut hours.

Employers primarily cut employee hours when business performance is suffering. The company isn’t making enough sales to meet income projections or there’s an issue with the supply chain.

For example, automakers have thousands of parts to assemble vehicles. There’s currently a microchip shortage, so automakers can only make enough cars that they have chips for. The chip shortage means automakers cannot produce as many cars as they normally do.

Therefore, profits are going to suffer because they can’t make enough cars. Since they can’t make enough cars, they don’t need the employee manpower for full auto production.

Some employers might cut your hours if the business takes a different direction on the project you’re working on. Businesses don’t always have the resources to chase every project, so projects often take the back seat. 

Your hours might get cut if you’re working on a non-priority project.

Companies going through extremely rough times will cut employee hours to immediately reduce cost. Typically, an employer can cut everyone’s hours or start laying off people. Sometimes it’s best if everyone takes a collective paycut to avoid a complete loss of income for some employees.

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What are my rights if my employer wants to reduce my hours?

Your rights to employers reducing hours include accepting reduced hours or refusing a change to your employment contract. Refusing a change to your employment contract may end up in your dismissal or require you to pursue legal action. You may also resign and find employment elsewhere.

Can I refuse to change my working hours?

You may refuse to change your work hours if you feel the change violates your initial employment agreement. Refusing to change your work hours will often result in termination or your employer insisting on the new schedule.

Can you sue your employer for cutting your hours?

You can sue your employer for cutting your hours if your employer terminates your employment after refusing to accept a new schedule. You may also need to resign if your employer continues to insist on cutting your hours before taking legal action. In either case, consult legal advice and your employment contract before taking legal action.

Refusing to cut your hours is either going to result in no change to your current schedule, termination, or insisting on the new schedule. 

Your employer may be ok with keeping your schedule as is, but it’s very unlikely.

Instead, your employer might decide to fire you for refusing to accept a new schedule. In this case, you can file for unfair dismissal.

Your employer may try and convince you that it’s acceptable to work the new schedule. At this point, your only choice may be to resign and pursue constructive dismissal.

You will want to consult legal advice before taking any legal action. Keep in mind, you need to understand what the terms of your employment agreement is, because employers write the terms. The last thing you want to do is quit your job, but your employment agreement said they could change your work schedule.

What can I do if my hours are cut at work?

Your choices if your hours at work are cut include asking for more hours, finding a better job, side hustling or freelancing. You can refuse the schedule change if you feel the change violates your employment contract. Refusing a schedule change may result in termination or you may be required to take legal action.

Ask for more hours

The first thing you should try is asking for more hours or asking to stay on the same schedule. Try to resolve the issue peacefully with your employer. Oftentimes, employers make schedule changes without consulting the impact to employees.

Find a better job

You don’t have to work for your current employer and cutting hours is a bad sign for the company financially. Now may be a good time to start applying for new jobs where you might get a better pay or benefits.

Side hustle or freelance

Reduced hours leave you more time to create a secondary stream of income. You can start your own freelancing business or start side hustling to make up the income gap. Your side hustle or freelancing business might become your full-time gig.

What to do if your boss is trying to get you to quit?

The best thing to do if your boss is trying to get you to quit is find a new job. Finding a new job allows you to leave a toxic work environment and find a better position. Changing jobs will often give you a pay raise and better benefits.

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Summary: Boss cutting hours to make you quit

As you can see, having a boss cut your hours to make you quit can be a difficult situation. The best thing you can do is find a new job, with new coworkers you might enjoy more. Having less hours to work allows you to find a better job or start a side hustle or freelance business.

Employers cut hours when the company isn’t doing well or your job is no longer the primary goal of the business. A company may reduce everyone’s hours to avoid laying off individual employees. Companies may return hours to normal once economic conditions improve and the company does better financially.

You can refuse a change to your work schedule if you feel it violates your initial employee contract. Your employer will most likely convince you to take the new hours or lose your job. In either case, you can seek legal advice and file a claim.

John is the founder of TightFist Finance and an expert in the field of personal finance. John has studied personal finance for over 10 years and has used his knowledge to pay down debt, grow his investment portfolio, and launch a financial based business. He is committed to sharing content related to personal finance based on his experience in his career, investing, and path towards reaching financial independence.