ByteDance employees in China have received their salary for last month on August 31, after the “Big/Small Week” overtime working schedule was discontinued by the company. A reporter from domestic media outlet Caixin learned from several employees that their salary had dropped by about 20%.
The salary fluctuation is not a “general salary adjustment” led by ByteDance, and there has been no internal notice issued by the firm. Some employees said that the deducted salary is the proportional reduction of overtime work since last month’s cancellation of the “Big/Small Week” overtime working schedule.
The so-called “Big/Small Week” overtime working schedule required employees to alternate six-day weeks (“big”) with a normal five-day working week (“small”). Employees on this schedule tend to work 20 more days a year than those who work a regular five-day week. The company calculates extra pay to the employees based on the overtime hours. If employees work overtime on Sunday, the daily pay is double the weekday.
Since the wages of R&D staff are generally higher, the cancellation means that employees who do not work overtime will lose a considerable amount of money. In addition, many ByteDance employees will include overtime in their annual salary amount when they negotiate their salaries on joining the company. After the cancellation, however, ByteDance has not announced any compensation plan for these employees.
A ByteDance employee said on social media, “Finally, in my lifetime, ByteDance’s adjustment came. But what is adjusted is the salaries of all employees, being reduced by 17%.” Another employee added, “4 days’ salary is reduced, less than 20% of the total.”
On July 9 this year, ByteDance, which has implemented the infamous “996” work schedule for nearly nine years, announced that it would cancel the “Big/Small Week” overtime working schedule from August 1. Under the new arrangement, teams and individuals working for ByteDance with overtime needs must submit applications.