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As it stands the small tech company I currently work for is being bought out by a large multinational company with the finalisations to be made tomorrow. It has been in the pipeline for a fair few months but I was told about this within the last two months. I started this job just over a year ago and had my 6 month appraisal which, from what I gather, is not really an opportunity to negotiate salary and so it was not discussed. My yearly review has come up but as my boss has been so busy with the take over it hasn't been possible to organise. As far as I am aware this has been the same for everyone within the business and has not been raised as an issue by any of them.

This didn't seem a problem to me until I realised we will be signing new contracts with our new parent company. In these contracts it states that pretty much everything will remain the same, however the date for salary renewal on my new contract is Jan 2017. This would then be 2 and a quarter years after first starting the role and I feel that it is a little unfair that I at least do not have a chance at entering contract negotiations. I would certainly like to have the opportunity to discuss my salary prior to this.

How can I make sure that I get an opportunity to address this without being locked into my starting wage for an unreasonable period?

To add a bit more understanding to the situation one of my previous colleagues left a similar role to mine mid-takeover. This was before he knew of the takeover. The company has now had interviews for more people in his role and I am also have the knowledge that the interviews are being encouraged to hire at least one of the applicants. This is because the business is very much expected to grow over the coming years.

The Outcome - I think it is useful to tell people of my outcome should they be put in a situation like this.

Prior to the buy-out I spoke to my manager and highlighted my problem with the new contract. It turns out that the contract is a standard contract for the company and so only one or two section are ever changed - and not the one containing renewals. However, into my Letter of Employment there was written a part saying that due to the immediate pressures on HR and resources there would be a one off salary review within the first 6 months of joining. This seems like a fair compromise and also gives me time to show the parent company my true worth.

  • Are you a temp employee what do you mean by 2 year contract negotiations ? – Pepone Dec 15 '15 at 21:48
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    Talk to your manager. Start the discussion by discussing your concerns. What happens from there isn't something we can help you with... – keshlam Dec 15 '15 at 23:33
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    Are you wanting to put your job on the line if your salary remains unchanged for another year? Some places may well be happy to have a job though you don't state anything about where these are taking place. Whoever told you life is fair? – JB King Dec 15 '15 at 23:38
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    I'm not sure why this is still getting close votes. I started a Meta discussion here. – David K Dec 16 '15 at 12:55
  • Very good question, but my short answer is that fusions are not done in the interest of the employee. Very good answers below, overall. Don't expect miracles. – gazzz0x2z Dec 16 '15 at 13:49
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You could go to your new HR department and tell them that you won't accept this new contract because it postpones your date for salary renewal too back than acceptable for you. Say you either want to negotiate a new wage before signing this new contract or want an earlier date for salary renewal in your contract than standard.

However, keep in mind that:

  • A company takeover means trendemous workload and chaos for the HR department, so they might simply not have the resources to negotiate any special requests right now. So they might simply ignore your concern and expect you to either sign the new contract or don't.
  • Company takeovers often involve layoffs. And when you appear to have issues with the takeover and your position has redundancies, that might put you on the list.

However, if you are important for the new company, then they might also just give you what you want so you stop bothering them. You are not asking for much, after all. Just for having a meeting for a salary negotiation where they can still say no to your salary demands.

  • I chose this answer because it probably grasps my situation the best. From what I can tell I am very much needed as there are not many people with current knowledge of how our product works. – josh Dec 17 '15 at 14:19
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My yearly review has come up but as my boss has been so busy with the take over it hasn't been possible to organise. As far as I am aware this has been the same for everyone within the business and has not been raised as an issue by any of them.

How can I make sure that I get an opportunity to address this without being locked into my starting wage for an unreasonable period?

You can press your boss to address your review now, rather than waiting until the buy out occurs.

This may or may not be successful. It's quite possible that the buy-out process requires a stop to all reviews and raises, and your manager might not have any power to change that. That would not be unusual.

If you discuss this with your manager, and point out how you view this as unfair, you'll likely get a response that at least clarifies what he can and cannot do at this time.

That way you'll know with a bit more certainty. At worst, you'll be able to decide if you want to stick around and wait for a raise, or move on.

Acquisitions change everything. Unfortunately, while your situation may feel unfair, it isn't that unusual.

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There are a variety of situational possibilities here, depending on why your company is being acquired, and what you manager is doing.

During acquisitions and mergers, it could be that the new company will:

  • want to keep you.
  • want to get rid of you for some reason.
  • doesn't care one way or the other.

(In the interest of space I won't elaborate.)

Which situation applies to you is something you probably can't do much about, although understanding which you are in will help you decide how to proceed and how much leverage you might have. From what you've said, it seems they probably want to keep you.

Also, it could be that your manager:

  • has your situation on a to do list, but hasn't gotten to it yet (or just hasn't talked to you about it yet).
  • has been told no raises are to be given out.
  • has forgotten your situation.

Regardless of those circustances, I think the best thing to do now is to have a discussion with him/her. There's no reason to get confrontational, just stay calm and present the facts. In the conversation I recommend reminding your manager that you've already been there over a year without a raise. Point out that if you don't get one now and sign the contract as written, then it will be over 2 years that you'll go without a raise. The response may be that things are already in place for you to get a raise, or something like "Sorry, this had slipped my mind, I'll take care of it." Otherwise, and assuming the company wants to keep you, I think it's likely he/she will try to do something for you if possible; after all, unless the company is trying to get rid of people, part of a manager's job in this situation is to keep valued employees through the acquisition so that the combined company will be stronger. If you're lucky, he/she will try to help you even if raises aren't supposed to be given out. If there's nothing that can be done, hopefully he/she will be honest about that.

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