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Ask taratill Your Own Question

taratill
taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6305
Experience:  15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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I have been working for my company for 5 years now. Recently

Customer Question

I have been working for my company for 5 years now. Recently I have been promoted to a Assistant Outlet Manager within our Hotel.18 months ago, I have asked to go from evening shifts into morning shifts as after more than 3 years only evening shifts I couldn´t take it anymore.
Everything was fine and all works very well, results are better than ever before.
Now I have been told that from next month onwards I will have to work 2 weeks in the morning and 2 weeks in the evening.
I have told that I am not happy to do that, as still nothing has changed about my feelings regarding the evening shift.
I have been told from my manager that I will have to do it, if I want to or not is irrelevant.
Is that true? Can they force me against my will to work a shift I am not feeling comfortable with?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  taratill replied 2 years ago.

taratill :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I am happy to help you today. What business reason have you been given for this shift change?

JACUSTOMER-uybfvrx9- :

There hasn´t been a business reason. My manager told me that she would like to get some experience in the morning shift and therefore I have to go in the evening, so this will be covered, But there are working 3 Assistant Managers already, not as long in the Company as I am, but doing the evening shift for more than a year.

taratill :

Does your contract of employment specify the shifts that you should do? You have said that you are not comfortable with working evening shifts, what is the reason for this?

JACUSTOMER-uybfvrx9- :

No, the contract does not say which shifts I should work.

JACUSTOMER-uybfvrx9- :

I have difficulties with my work - life balance when I am doing evening shifts. I never used to have it in previous jobs. But the evening shifts in this company are minimum until midnight. After work it was very difficult for me to go to bed and sleep. I was awake until 5 or 6 am in the morning until I was able to fall asleep. And then getting up at midday to get ready to go to work was a big challenge after a couple of days facing the same problem from day to day.

JACUSTOMER-uybfvrx9- :

for this reason I have asked to be transfered permanently in the morning, which was agreed by my previous head of department and his assistant. Unfortunatelly, both of them have left the company.

taratill :

Ok, are other people doing your role expected to work some night shifts and was there any written agreement that you would not have to work night shifts in the future ?

JACUSTOMER-uybfvrx9- :

No, it was never written down, but I have been working in the morning now over 1,5 years. And both of them recently left the company. But in the time they were there, there was never the question coming up from her side to put me back in the evening. My colleagues who are in the same role as me, are only working evening shifts; only if the business requires a morning shift for them they do work mornings. But the same is with me, if there is a business need I am happy to cover 1 evening shift a week or even 2. But I can´t work permanently in the evening again.

taratill :

are they saying they no longer require someone in your role to work a morning shift at all?

JACUSTOMER-uybfvrx9- :

No, they definatelly need someone. And I do my job very well, that´s what they say, too. All relevant results gone up for last year and targets are met or just max 1 % behind

taratill :

so what is the reason that they are now asking you to do nights as well?

JACUSTOMER-uybfvrx9- :

the reason is that my managers wants to have a rotation between the 4 of us. And as she wants to do some morning shifts as well now. To be able to do that, she wants me to go in the evening because she thinks the others are not reliable and not able to run the shift by themselves without her help.

taratill :

have you raised a grievance about this?

JACUSTOMER-uybfvrx9- :

No, not sure what that is?

taratill :

Your employer should have a grievance procedure and you should ask for a copy. You can raise a grievance on the basis that it was agreed that you would only work days with your previous manager.

taratill :

Your difficulty might be proving that this was agreed as a permanent change in the absence of a written grievance.

taratill :

Sorry I meant written agreement that you would only work days.

JACUSTOMER-uybfvrx9- :

Well, I am still in contact with my previous manager. So if he would for example send an email or a letter saying that he agreed that I am only working mornings would it be fine? Do I raise this with HR?

taratill :

Yes that would assist you.

taratill :

You should ask HR for support with this.

JACUSTOMER-uybfvrx9- :

And what do you think how big my chances are to not go in the evening?

JACUSTOMER-uybfvrx9- :

I was thinking already to give my resignation if my manager really gonna put me down for this shifts as I really can´t do this shifts anymore.

taratill :

I don't know your employer's version of events.The difficultly is that the employer could say that going forward it is not possible and give you notice of a change in terms and conditions. As you do not have a disability or child care issues which would make it particuarly difficult to work nights if you refused after being given notice then it would be difficult for you to resign and claim constructive dismissal if I'm honest.

taratill :

Hopefully raising a grievance will lead the employer to change their ming.

taratill :

mind.

JACUSTOMER-uybfvrx9- :

They have not given me anything in writing.

taratill :

No I know they have not yet, but they may do so if you refuse to agree to it.

JACUSTOMER-uybfvrx9- :

And in case my manager just put me in the evenings on the next rota?

taratill :

then you should raise a grievance to say that you consider it to be in breach of contract as you had a agreed with your previous manager that you would only work day shifts.

taratill :

You can ask HR for a copy of the grievance procedure.

JACUSTOMER-uybfvrx9- :

ok, I will do that then.

taratill :

If you have any further questions please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.

taratill :

Hello is there anything further you would like to know about this?

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