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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44867
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I work as a caretaker 15 hours per week. about a year ago my

Customer Question

i work as a caretaker 15 hours per week. about a year ago my hours were raised to 17.5 but this was not documented. Whilst on holiday recently my boss took on a new employee for 2.5 hours who now does the part of my job that i was doing for 2.5 hours. where do i stand please?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for and when your hours were increased was that intended to be permanent?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

worked there for 2 yrs and 5 months and yes they were intended to be permanent. a sort of 'from now on' situation

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
The fact that the changes were not documented does not mean that they were not legally binding. They could still be as what matters is your and the employer’s intentions at the time the changes were introduced and if it was intended for the hours to become permanent then they could be treated as such. Therefore, the employer’s attempts to try and reduce them now would amount to a change to your contractual terms and conditions. There are a few ways in which an employer may try and make changes to an employee’s contract of employment. These are by:
• Receiving the employee’s express consent to the changes.
• Forcefully introducing the changes (called 'unilateral change of contract').
• Giving the employee notice to terminate their current contract and then offer them immediate re-engagement under a new contract that contains the new terms.
If the changes are introduced without the employee's consent, then the following options are available:
1. Start working on the new terms but making it clear in writing that you are working ‘under protest’. This means that you do not agree with the changes but feel forced to do so. In the meantime you should try and resolve the issue either by informal discussions or by raising a formal grievance.
2. If the changes fundamentally impact the contract, for example changes to pay, duties, place of work, etc., you may wish to consider resigning and claiming constructive dismissal. The resignation must be done without unreasonable delay so as not to give the impression that the changes had been accepted. The claim must be submitted in an employment tribunal within 3 months of resigning and is subject to you having at least 2 years' continuous service. You would then seek compensation for loss of earnings resulting from the employer's actions.
3. If the employment is terminated and the employer offers re-engagement on the new terms that could potentially amount to unfair dismissal. However, the employer can try and justify the dismissal and the changes if they had a sound business reason for doing so. This could be pressing business needs requiring drastic changes for the company to survive. If no such reason exists, you can make a claim for unfair dismissal in an employment tribunal. The same time limit of 3 months to claim and the requirement to have 2 years' continuous would apply.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response 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? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.

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