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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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my daughter has had some time off work for depression she is

Customer Question

my daughter has had some time off work for depression she is going back next week .she had a contract for 36 hours per week but now her boss has cut her hours to 24 hours per week and say she has to build up the trust to get more hours in the future .
Is this legal
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

How long has she worked there for?

Ben Jones :

Hi, not sure if you saw my initial query above - how long has she worked there for?

JACUSTOMER-cjqhdcxx- :

Hi sorry

JACUSTOMER-cjqhdcxx- :

Hi she has worked there for 18 months

Ben Jones :

Thanks for getting back to me. If she is contracted to work 36 hours per week then that is what she can expect to be given by the employer. If they decide to reduce these hours it would amount to a breach of contract on their part, especially if there is no specific clause that allows them to do so. There are circumstances when someone returning from sickness absence may be placed on a phased return to work but that is done to help them adjust back into the workplace, not o ‘build up trust’ as the employer says here. Also it is to be done with the employee’s consent, not forced through like this.

In addition to the above, the employer’s action could also amount to potential disability discrimination. If her depression is serious enough and has lasted or is likely to last for more than a year, it can amount to a disability in the legal sense of the word and she will have additional protection in law. It means the employer must not treat her detrimentally because of her condition and by reducing her hours without her consent and the immediate need to do so, they will likely be discriminating against her.

She may use the above to challenge their actions. If necessary she may also go through the grievance procedure to formally complain about this.

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?

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