We are a business unit that reports to an American head office who are not profitable at present. We have been asked to investigate putting our employees on a 4 day week. Our contracts allow us to do this and I understand the regulations concerning layoffs/guarantee payments etc. However, we have today received communication from our American parent advising what they are doing in the US and suggesting we follow the same format as follows:
They are introducing a voluntary vacation purchase plan which will be mandatory worldwide. “Each employee will receive 5 added vacation days during 2004. With the added vacation, each employee will have their pay reduced by 1/2 day for each pay period, starting with their March paycheck, until the 5 days have been witheld from their check. Those who have already purchased vacation voluntarily will continue to have their pay reduced by 1/2 day per pay period until the five days are reached”.

Has anyone had any experience of this in the UK, and are there any legal implications that we should be aware of. Can you advise what are the sucesses or pitfalls of implementing such a plan?

Many thanks.
kirsa edwards