Contractor UK recently reported on the news that UBS is set to cut rates for freelance technology workers in the run up to Christmas, weakening any optimism that those in the sector had been feeling.
The Swiss bank has essentially taken a cut-throat approach, offering workers a 'take it or leave it' reduction to their pay. For those who wish to retain their jobs before Christmas, they will have to accept a 10% reduction in their rates or they will be out of the door, the article explains.
UBS is rolling this out across its UK ranks as well as those across the world with no exemptions or room for individual negotiation.
The announcement comes as the third 10% cut that the organisation has made to IT contractor rates since the financial crisis, and the third time this year that IT contractors have been asked by banks to carry out the same work but for less pay in the first quarter of 2014, RBS and Barclays gave similar ultimatums.
A UBS spokesperson has told Contractor UK that the review of contractor rates came alongside other reductions in the bank's "overall expenditure with third party suppliers" "like many other financial institutions UBS continuously reviews its operations, associated resourcing and contracted staff costs," she explained.
So far, it seems that many IT contractors have agreed to the terms, which came into force on 1 December, as they will still be on a 'market rate' even by taking the 10% pay reduction. And as a contributor to the Contractor UK forum has remarked, those who reject the pay reduction may later regret the decision:
"For every one contractor who makes a stand and declines the cut UBS knows there are nine others who will grumble and take the cut so they are onto a winner," he wrote.