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John Knox
John Knox, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 1155
Experience:  Solicitor and Advocate
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I have worked inmy current job for nearly 9 years and have

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I have worked inmy current job for nearly 9 years and have had a flexible working contract with a static rota with my employer since July 2007. My employer is currently re-contracting everyone at our site to have contracts inline with some other sites they own. The contractual changes provide both pros & cons however my issue is during the re-contracting they propose to lose the flexible working agreements as they propose to introduce a a rolling rota which they say would be imposible to work with staff working fixed hours. The nature of the business has not and is not changing and the service and client group remain unchanged. My question is can they give me notice to take away my flexible hours contract forcing my to accept a new contract as I will be unable to meet my child care requirements on a rolling rota and would be forced to leave?!

I will do my best to help you with this.

You say you have had a flexible working contract since July 2007. Can you confirm that your ability to work flexibly is recorded in the contract? Are they proposing to ask you to sign a new contract with the rolling rota?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I didn't recieve a new contract nor have I for any promotions during my employment. In 2007, I applied for flexible working following the companies policy/procedures. They came back with a flexible working offer in writing which I appealed, they then responded with another felxible working offer in writing which I accepted in writing. It provided me with the ability to work longer shifts during school term time (extra 5hrs per wk) to enable me to have more time off in the school holidays. More importantly it gave me three set days on rota per week to work to enable me to provide childcare at home. There was a provision for me to have some felxibility to attend set training days each year which I would have several months advance notice of which again has not caused an issue.

I can confirm that in the written aggreement it does state that this is line with the Flexible Working Legislation 2003.


They are proposing I sign a new aggreement which has no provision for flexible working and refers to the rolling rota.


Once a flexible working request has been agreed it forms a permanent change to the employee's contract, unless agreed otherwise, and cannot be changed without further agreement between the employer and employee.

If, following a request for flexible working, a permanent change is made to a contract, the employer cannot make unilateral changes to the contract. If it does, the employee will have a potential claim for breach of contract and, possibly, unfair constructive dismissal. A female employee might also have a claim for indirect sex discrimination, if she is disadvantaged by the change to her contract.

Your employer is now trying to change your contract and force you into agreeing something on the basis that your job will be at risk if you refuse. If your employer imposes the changes unilaterally, you are free to refuse to comply and if you feel that you have no option but to resign. You could then claim constructive unfair dismissal.

I would advise you to write a detailed letter to your employer, setting out the fact that you do not agree to the proposed changes and that you are aware that they cannot be imposed on you unilaterally. That would be the first step.

Whether you want to take this as far as the law allows you, and insist on your full rights, will depend on how confident you feel about taking a strong stand at work and potentially upsetting your employer!

Any further queries, please ask.

Best wishes

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