Lighting Industry

Signify asks employees to take a 20% cut in pay and hours

A white factory with a green Signify sign against a blue sky
‘The Covid-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented situation globally’ Signify told its employees. It has asked all its 32,000 employees to accept a 20 per cent cut in hours and pay.

THE WORLD’S largest lighting company is asking all its employees to sign up to a voluntary scheme which will see their hours and salaries cut by 20 per cent.

Signify has written to all its workers in what is describing as a ‘call for solidarity and unity’ asking them to agree the measures, which also include a delay in bonuses and a hiring freeze.

‘The Covid-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented situation globally and from the outset, we have taken considerable action focused on the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers, partners and people around us,’ the company writes.

‘It is essential to ensure business continuity and anticipate potential disruptions in market demand. Many companies are taking measures, all in their own ways.

‘At Signify, we are convinced that, as a socially responsible company, we must protect the jobs of our employees during these very uncertain times. 

‘At the same time, we need to temporarily reduce our costs in order to deal with these exceptional times.

‘Our Leadership Team has therefore decided to move to a flexible salary cost base and allow temporarily salary reduction, impacting all employees’.

The key measures include:

·       A delay in merit increases from April to October

·      A voluntary salary reduction of 20 per cent in Q2 for the CEO and senior managers and directors

·       A request for a voluntary 20 per centcut in work hours and pro-rata pay for a period of three months 

·       An immediate freeze to external hiring ‘to maximise the internal opportunities of our employees’. 

A spokesman told Lux: ‘For us, this really is about safeguarding employment and business continuity, and solidarity and unity among all our employees’.

It’s unclear if the company’s union liaison committee, the works council, was consulted on the move. Jorg Sauer of trade union VHP2 said the company hasn’t consulted the works council, the management and employee liaison group.

‘Normally we are also involved in such proposals before they are made,’ he told Dutch news website Studio 24. ‘That hasn’t happened now.

‘It’s also a strange decision, because large companies that miss out on turnover can reach an arrangement with the Dutch government.

‘To take the opportunity to ask employees to voluntarily hand in wages is therefore very misplaced’.

Signify has 32,000 employees across the globe.