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I am an R.G.N. specialising in ITU. For nearly 8 yrs I have…

I am an R.G.N. specialising...
I am an R.G.N. specialising in ITU. For nearly 8 yrs I have had a contract for 5.5hrs/wk. I work long days (11 hrs per shift). At the time that I started in this position at this hospital the manager agreed that this would take the form of the first two Sundays of every month. This was very acceptable to me as it suited my family committments. A relatively new manager has demanded a meeting with me tomorrow at 1100hrs (leaving me no time to organise support) with H.R. present. The mgr has sent me a copy of the flexible workers procedure at my hospital clearly with a view to me applying for this working pattern to continue at which point I can only assume my application will be declined. My question is whether the fact that I have worked these shifts for so long unopposed gives me any legal standing to keep working them and if this is the case, what is the term for this?
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Answered in 24 minutes by:
6/27/2010
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 51,231
Experience: Qualified Solicitor
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Hi

 

If you have worked this particular shift pattern for a number of years then it is likely that it has become part of your contractual terms through custom and practice (this is the official legal term). Therefore, to change these terms your employer would need your approval, in the absence of which they may be acting in breach of contract. If they try and change your shift pattern then you can do the following:

 

 

1. Accept them, start working on the new terms and don't take the matter any further.

 

2. Start working on the new terms but making it clear to your employer (preferably in writing) that you are ‘working under protest'. This means that you do not agree to the changes but are only working them because you are forced to. In the meantime try and resolve the issue with your employer by informal discussions or through a formal grievance.

 

3. If Option 2 does not get you anywhere then you may wish to consider taking the final step and resigning. If you do so, you would need to resign without undue delay so as not to give an impression that you had accepted the breach. Then you can claim constructive unfair dismissal in an employment tribunal. You would have to argue that your employer had committed a fundamental breach of contract and that you were left with no other option but to resign. Be aware though that you only have 3 months from the date you resign to submit your claim.

 

But in any case, your employer can legally introduce the changes if they give you sufficient notice to terminate your current contract and then re-employ you on a new contract, which incorporates the changes. Technically that would still be a dismissal so unless your employer can justify that there was a valid reason for the changes in the first place then you may have a case for unfair dismissal and you can make a claim in the same way in an employment tribunal.

 

Please press the ACCEPT button to proceed. You would then also be able to ask any follow-up questions you may have. Thank you.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 51,231
Experience: Qualified Solicitor
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

thanks Ben, won't hold you to this but would you recommend early resignation rather than waiting for contracts to change. do i have to state that i am resigning due to pressure to change to unacceptable shifts?

Ruth

Hi, sorry just seen this but I seem to have replied to your other question already. There is no need to reply to this message as that will just reset the question back to me. Thanks
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