I'm currently working as a 40 hour salaried employee. The company I work for recently said that I'm one of their most efficient employees, and has offered me a 10% raise if I increase my hours to 50 hours a week.

Now, I understand that this is a personal decision, but my math side is coming out here.

If my hours goes up by 25%, shouldn't the pay go up by 25%? I understand that salaried positions don't have to stick to an hourly rate, but is this typical of companies and offers like this? If so, why?

  • 19
    Increasing your hours by 25% and your compensation by 10% doesn't add up, no matter which way you turn it. I've never heard of this kind of thing being offered, but it only makes sense if you don't think it through for more than 2 seconds.
    – Jane S
    Apr 20, 2016 at 1:15
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    In effect, they're offering a 15% pay cut, relative to your effort.
    – Jane S
    Apr 20, 2016 at 1:23
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    Thank them for the kind offer of a pay cut, but let them know that you'll be passing on it. And be prepared to start looking for a new job if this turns out to be a career-limiting move. Apr 20, 2016 at 3:20
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    I'm going to assume that the 10% raise is on a monthly basis? Even if it were 25% you'd essentially be working for the same salary per hour but for longer hours. OR is the increase of 10% based on a hourly salary? meaning that you'd be paid 25% on a monthly basis due to the 25% increased hours and THEN get 10% increase over your salary? if it is the latter, then it comes down to your personal choice. needing to take quality of life into account. Otherwise, it'd be a something you should easily decline.
    – Migz
    Apr 20, 2016 at 5:55
  • 7
    "If my hours goes up by 25%, shouldn't the pay go up by 25%". No, the pay should go up even more. I'd say 40% at least.
    – NotMe
    Apr 20, 2016 at 14:50

4 Answers 4


The only time that I could reasonably see this happen would be if a great employee but unproven manager was "groomed for command" by being moved into a management position that required those hours and with a promise of a further raise after a trial period. That's still a bad practice and the employee should really get his full salary from the start but it's been known to happen.

It is typical for some jobs to be 9-to-5 and others to require a 50+ hour work week. It's also typical, if short-sighted, for such jobs to pay a higher salary that comes down to a lower per-hour pay. Well-run companies that want to attract and retain high performing employees won't do this and employees who are expected to work such hours at those companies will have a much higher salary in both calculations. Putting in more than the standard 40 hours should be compensated after all.

What certainly isn't typical is the arrangement they are proposing. You are presumably doing a stellar job with your 40 hours a week and increasing that to 50 hours without a corresponding salary increase is a simple case of your management wanting to take advantage. I would personally take offence at the mere suggestion of this insanely disrespectful proposal and my reaction in the moment would probably include a guffaw or two, followed by a painful silence and "Oh, you weren't joking?" While there are probably more professional ways to react, this is such an outlandish request that I'd have a hard time taking them seriously.


There is almost no work performance that can be sustained for more than a certain amount of time. For programming for example, it has been shown that working more than 40h/week, people tend to introduce more errors, actually reducing their overall productivity, as finding and removing the errors uses up more hours than the increase of work time.

For other jobs, longer working hours bring with it long term health problems.

Thus, increasing your weekly hours usually is not a good idea in the first place.

Especially not if the math does not add up.

Obviously, your company is very fond of your work. At least they said so. I would consider asking them for a raise without increasing the work hours based on their compliment and reasoning for the change.

As some pointed out, I do not answer the ops question. I so far just added some other aspect to make the decision easier. Let me add to this:

The math is easy. Getting paid 110% for 125% of hours results in a pay of 88% of the former hourly rate.

Add in that, most probably, a 10% raise will result in higher taxes, taking you into a higher progression class (depending on your tax system), and sometimes the same happens with other deductions, you will actually not earn 10% more, but even less.

Another thing that can happen is that due to what I pointed out first, either you or your manager will actually notice the performance drop owned to the additional hours, and either one of you will feel less happy with it.

  • 2
    "For other jobs, longer working hours bring with it long term health problems." - I think that statement is true for all kind of jobs. I wouldn't even work 50 hours a week regularly for a 100% increase in salary, because I know it would make me sick (and as a result I'd hardly be motivated). Apr 20, 2016 at 12:12
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    While your main point is true and obviously popular, you don't seem to actually answer the question.
    – Lilienthal
    Apr 20, 2016 at 16:14
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    OP is asking if the increase in hours worked compared to the increase in salary is fair, yet most of your question focuses on whether working more hours yields more performance, which would be a good question if their employer was asking if they should allow them to work more. Apr 20, 2016 at 18:19

If my hours goes up by 25%, shouldn't the pay go up by 25%? I understand that salaried positions don't have to stick to an hourly rate, but is this typical of companies and offers like this? If so, why?

They are making an offer, and think that they will be able to get away with having you take what is effectively a ~12% pay cut.

Wether or not that is typical depends heavily on your company, and industry. I have personally never encountered nor heard of such an offer in my circle.

They are presumably doing this because they want more work from you, and want to pay only nominally more for it, to make more profit, of course. They also think they can get away with it by praising your performance first, in a weak attempt to mask the fact that they are basically "offering" you a pay cut.

  • @malach curse you 5th grade math and your sudden but inevitable betrayal. But thanks, I'll update that
    – Magisch
    Apr 20, 2016 at 8:50
  • Good point on the 12% pay cut. Always have to be careful. Something that looks like a raise is actually a pay cut haha! Apr 20, 2016 at 18:21

As the comments have alluded to, by taking their offer, you are taking a pay cut. Pair that with the fact that your hours are going up to 50 (on the high end of average hours per week) and you are looking at a terrible deal for yourself.

If my hours goes up by 25%, shouldn't the pay go up by 25%? Yes, a good company would compensate you accordingly if you were doing more time.

Is this typical of companies and offers like this? If so, why? Not in my experience, I was asked if I wanted to go from 37.5 to 40 hours per week and my pay increased in-line. Sounds like they are trying to pull a fast one.

  • 1
    Unless the offer is actually for a 10% per hour increase...
    – komodosp
    Apr 20, 2016 at 10:20
  • Agreed @colmde but the question does not read that way to me (or the majority of other answers)
    – John
    Apr 20, 2016 at 10:22

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