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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48176
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I work in a primary school and have a contract .5hrs per

Resolved Question:

I work in a primary school and have a contract for 3.5hrs per week at a rate of £12.04 per hour. I have been informed that this post will not be needed as from September. I have been offered the same hours but at £8.97 can the school do this?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked here for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have been there since 2008

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have worked at the school since 2008 and have had the contract for these specific hours since 2013.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Ben, did you receive my last reply?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Apologies for not getting back to you sooner, I experienced some temporary connection issues and could not get back on the site until now. All appears to be resolved now so I can continue dealing with your query.
If the employer wants to remove you from this position then they must be able to show that there was a fair reason for doing so. The most likely reason here could be due to redundancy, if the post is removed or the employer no longer requires employees doing it. If that is the case they would have a duty to offer you suitable alternative employment and if no such employment exists then you would be made redundant instead.
In this case they have offered you a job that pays about a third less than your current one. It is unlikely that this would make the offer suitable so you would be able to reject it and ask to be made redundant instead.
However, if the position and duties remain the same but they are just changing the rate of pay, then it is unlikely that this would be a redundancy situation and the employer may simply be trying to reduce the pay without there being as genuine redundancy situation. That is unlikely to be fair. Whilst you cannot force them to keep your current job and rate of pay, if they are trying to force through a reduced rate then it could amount to constructive dismissal. That is where you are forced to resign as a result of the employer’s fundamental breach of contract.
The affected employee would initially be expected to raise a formal grievance in order to officially bring their concerns to the employer's attention and give them an opportunity to try and resolve them. If the issues are so bad that the employee can't even face raising a grievance and going through the process, or if a grievance has been raised but has been unsuccessful, then they can consider resigning straight away.
If resignation appears to be the only option, it must be done without unreasonable delay so as not to give an impression that the employer's breach had been accepted. Any resignation would normally be with immediate effect and without providing any notice period. It is advisable to resign in writing, stating the reasons for the resignation and that this is being treated as constructive dismissal.
Following the resignation, the option of pursuing a claim for constructive dismissal exists. This is only available to employees who have at least 2 years' continuous service. There is a time limit of 3 months from the date of resignation to submit a claim in the employment tribunal.
An alternative way out is to approach the employer on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. Under a settlement agreement, the employee gets compensated for leaving the company and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, although the employer does not have to agree to it so it will be subject to negotiation. In any event, there is nothing to lose by raising this possibility with them because you cannot be treated detrimentally for suggesting it and it would not be used against you.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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