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taratill
taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6339
Experience:  15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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Employment law question. The local authority I work for

Customer Question

Employment law question.
The local authority I work for currently has three different sets of contracts/terms and conditions in place. They want us to all sign a new contract to bring everyone on to the same terms and conditions. One of the main changes is leave entitlement, however in the new contracts received last week the annual leave entitlement is not the same as was proposed in the committee paper and agreed by councilors. We have tried to get HR to clarify this but we are not getting proper answers they are just skirting around the point.
My question is that if a committee paper proposal has been agreed, can the council then go and add further provisos and limitations not mentioned in the original paper nor discussed or mentioned at consultation or during negotiations with the union.
(PS. I am not a member of the union, however a colleague is and they have been advised not to sign)
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  taratill replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today.
How long have you worked there for and is this a reduction in holiday days?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jenny

I have been there for six years next month and was awarded long service leave of an extra two days last year. previously my leave was 29 days, but is now 31.

The council stated in the committee paper that all staff were to be brought onto basic 31 days leave and that staff who had attained long service leave would retain this leave. However myself and a number of other colleagues had 31 days in our contract while others got 33.

Expert:  taratill replied 2 years ago.
What is the reason for the difference between 31 and 33 days?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We are not sure.

When I queried why my leave was not 33 days ie 31 basic plus two days long service award I was advised that my long service had been rolled over into the 31 days. However a staff member who I manage has only been there two years and has not qualified for long service leave yet also got 31 days. They then said to another colleague asking the same question that only staff who had been on the older contract pre 2000 had kept their long service leave, hence the 33 days.

However the committee report made no mention of specific contracts being relevant, only that staff were 'long-serving'.

Expert:  taratill replied 2 years ago.
In order to answer your question an employer should not introduce new terms and conditions (which are detrimental) without consulting as to the changes (which has not happened here due to the deviation) and giving formal notice. Any change done this way can be considered to be void.
You can therefore legitimately refuse to sign the new contract.
I would suggest that you raise a personal grievance about the fact that you earn less holiday days than others. If this is length of service based you can argue that this criteria is potentially discriminatory on the grounds of age.
It is fine for employers to change terms time to time to suit business needs, this can include reduction in cost to the tax payer but they must be sure to operate fairly, consulting properly and without discriminating against individuals contrary to the equality act.
if you have any further questions please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.
taratill and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Jenny.
I am going to discuss with my colleagues and then further email HR with your general comments regarding the changes, then see what response I get back. Hopefully it is ok to come back to you with any further developments?
Expert:  taratill replied 2 years ago.
Yes of course. Please remember to request me by name and I'll gladly answer any further questions.