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Dealing with Pay Cuts in a COVID-19 Environment


The whole economy has felt the gravity of a global pandemic. Medical practices are seeing fewer patients unless it’s related to the pandemic, and businesses are seeing fewer customers. Thus, many small businesses have closed their doors.


Millions of employees have been let go, and other employees have even had to take pay cuts.


While the unfortunate events cannot be helped, there may be something to say about pay cuts. Nobody wants to reduce their pay, but there are times when it’s necessary. However, that doesn’t mean that you should accept a pay cut without knowing what is going on around the office.


Pay Cuts as a Dental Hygienist

As a dental hygienist, you may work on a compensation model. If you’ve received a pay cut, it’s likely due to the fact that you’re seeing fewer patients. Therefore, you’re performing fewer procedures, and your payment must be reduced to reflect that.


However, if the dental assistant or dentist is not taking pay cuts, you may have a case to make against the cut. If one employee is forced to take a pay cut, all employees should take pay cuts.


Speak to the dental practice manager or owner and inquire what’s going on. If you’re told that everyone is taking a pay cut of a percent to reflect the losses, you can’t complain.


If you believe the commission-based pay is unfair, you can ask to be put on an hourly wage. This may relieve some of the downfalls of not seeing as many patients.


Pay Cuts as a Dentist

If you’re a dentist who runs a practice, you should have a clear insight into the financial impacts of COVID-19. Maybe you’ve lost a significant chunk of business as you’ve been seeing fewer patients each day. To deal with this, you may have had to let employees go.


While that’s okay, you can also look at each employees’ pay. If you hire freelance work, you likely don’t have many employees to pay full-time. However, if you’re not in the gig economy, and you have a full-time staff, you may need to consider pay cuts.


However, if some employees are paid on the compensation model, you’ll have to account for their specific cases and how many procedures they’re performing. What’s more, just because some staff earns more on average than others, doesn’t mean they should receive pay cuts while others do not.


To implement pay cuts fairly, you must distribute them across the board. Look at your percent decrease in revenue. Find a way to reduce each employees’ pay by a percentage to cover the losses.


The Bottom Line

As the world is changing due to COVID-19, each business must do its best to stay afloat. That may mean letting employees go or implementing pay cuts. Although the idea of a pay cut is unattractive, it may be necessary to save the dental practice. As long as pay cuts are spread fairly across employees, all should be well.


If you’re a dental professional looking to join the gig economy as a freelance professional, sign up here to get started.