I have worked for national charity Age UK Berkshire for aalmost 4 years and my contract of employment states my normal working hours are 37.5hrs per week. The contracts I am working on finish in Sept 12 and Mar 13 and my manager is saying if we lose the contracts or they are not renewed then my hours will be reduced accordingly meaning I could be paid much less. Are they able to change my working hours (and therefore pay) without my agreement or would they have to redeploy me or make me redundant (which option I do not want)? ThanksLiz Morgan,XXX@XXXXXX.XXX 07890 249714
Province/Country relating to question: UK
Checked CAB factsheet on employmnet rights
Hello and thank you for your question, which I will be happy to assist you with. Please let me know what you are hoping to achieve?
I want to continue to work for the same employer for 37.5hrs per week and do not want them to change my conditions of service or reduce my hours.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information. What happens now? If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Apologies for the slight delay, I experienced some temporary connection issues earlier. There are several ways in which an employer may try and introduce changes to an employee’s contract of employment:1. By receiving the employee’s express approval to the changes 2. By forcefully introducing the changes (called 'unilateral change of contract').3. By giving the employee notice to terminate their employment and then offer them immediate re-engagement on the new terms.If the employee agrees to the changes then that would usually put an end to the matter.If the changes are introduced forcefully then the following options are open to the employee:1. Start working on the new terms but making it clear to the employer (preferably in writing) that they are working ‘under protest’. This means that the employee does not agree with the changes but is only working them because they are forced to. In the meantime try and resolve the issue either by informal discussions or by raising a formal grievance. At the same time, the employee can bring in a claim for breach of contract in the civil courts or the employment tribunal, but usually that is only possible if they have or are going to suffer financial losses as a result.2. If the changes amount to a fundamental breach of contract (i.e. a change that affects at least one of the key contractual terms, such as pay, duties, place of work, etc.) the employee may wish to consider taking the final step of resigning and claiming constructive dismissal. The resignation must be done without undue delay so as not to give the impression that the changes had been accepted. The claim must be submitted in an employment tribunal within 3 months of resigning and is subject to the employee having at least 1 year’s continuous service.3. Finally, if the employment is terminated and the employer offers re-engagement on the new terms that could potentially amount to unfair dismissal. However, the employer can justify the dismissal and the changes if they had a sound business reason for dismissing an employee who refuses to accept the variation in terms. This could be pressing business needs requiring drastic changes for the company to survive. If no such reason exists, the employee can make a claim for unfair dismissal in an employment tribunal. The same time limit of 3 months to claim and the need to have 1 year’s continuous would apply.Also it is worth mentioning that sometimes employment contracts may try to give the employer a general right to make changes to any term of the employee’s contract. As such clauses purport to give the employer carte blanche to change any term of the employment relationship, so as to evade the general rule that changes must be mutually agreed, courts will rarely enforce such clauses. Nothing but the clearest language will be sufficient to create such a right. Any attempt to rely on such clauses will still be subject to the requirement of the employer to act reasonably and in the spirit of the mutual trust and confidence relationship it enjoys with its employees.Finally, you could be made redundant but only if your employer no longer requires as many employees doing the particular job you are doing. So if there are others doing the same job you would all need to be placed head to head and a fair scoring system adopted to decide who is to be made redundant.IMPORTANT: As professionals on this site, it is extremely important that our customers rate the service we provide. This only takes a few seconds and your question will NOT close. I would therefore be grateful if you could please choose one of the following options: OK Service, Good Service or Excellent Service. If you feel the need to leave a lower rating, please reply to me first with any further questions you have. I will be happy to assist further and clarify anything you need me to before you go on to leave your rating. Thank you
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).