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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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There. I have worked same company past 11

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Hi there. I have worked for the same company for the past 11 years. Last year I was forced to go less hours and less pay.
the company have now lost 2 major accounts and I have been told that I will only have a part time job come September or no job at all. Depending on which way I choose.
However, my hand was forced sooner, as I could not afford to have no job and was enforced on 1 july 2015
However, the job and pay is not similar to the role I had and struggling to survive on this. My employer has now also bullied me into a 'hourly' rate scenario and wants me to go self employed. (which I have refused)
My terms have also changed and my holidays are now only 10 per year and I am not paid for sick days or public holidays?
Is this allowed? I took the half time job as I had no choice, but now wish to push for redundancy after 11 years in this company? I feel she is either pushing me out or wanting to close the company?
I need to know if I still qualify for redundancy as I had reluctantly agreed for a month or two to do what was offered in terms of part time hours?
Please advise, many thanks in advance
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. When were the changes introduced?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

the changes were introduced mid to late June

enforced 1st july, and now further changes to my employment contract is no sick pay and no pay for public holidays on 20 Aug

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, 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. Finally, it is also worth mentioning that sometimes employment contracts may try to give the employer a general right to make changes to an employee’s contract. As such clauses give the employer the unreserved to change any term, so as to evade the general rule that changes must be mutually agreed, courts will rarely enforce such clauses. Nothing but the clearest language will be sufficient to create such a right and the situation must warrant it. Any attempt to rely on such clauses will still be subject to the requirement of the employer to act reasonably and can be challenged as above. As to redundancy you cannot force the employer to make you redundant but if needed you could pursue the constructive dismissal route and the compensation would be similar to that had you been made redundant. 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
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Ben

from reading your responses, I am still not clear on my next step in order to show my dissatisfaction of the changes.

I feel it is too risky to resign and then go through a tribunal as this will leave me without pay for 3 months?

How do I approach my employer to say I cannot continue on the basis of my hours being reduced by 50% and therefore, am unable to live on this amount and continue working, but after 11 years I feel I am due to some redundancy or compensation.

can you clarify the best way forward that you would recommend?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
If you were to approach the employer then you need to do so through a formal grievance. Check if your employer has a grievance policy and follow it. If not, then it is simply a matter of submitting your complaint to your line manager in writing and advising them that you wish to raise as formal grievance and for this to be treated as such. The employer would then be required to hold a formal grievance meeting with you to discuss the issues and they would eventually come to a decision, which you can appeal if it does not resolve the situation. Hope this clarifies things a bit more?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

It does, but there is no line manager. it is a small company and the Manager is the owner.

In my last question to Tara a month ago, she felt it was a redundancy situation?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Then it would be to the owner - basically whoever is your boss. As to redundancy then it may indeed be a redundancy situation but the issue is that you cannot force the employer to make you redundant. There could be a clear cut redundancy situation but they could just try and reduce your hours instead or make other changes and try to avoid having to maker you redundant. So in that case you would be pursuing the constructive dismissal option instead.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks Ben. the reduction in hours is over 50% and furthermore now the changes in terms such as no sick or bank holiday pay.

Ishall approach her with a grievance, and then take it from there.

For constructive dismissal, can you outline the points you feel I can follow this route on?

thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
For constructive dismissal there is a clear breach of contract by the employer, which occurs when the following two elements are present:· Serious breach of contract by the employer; and· An acceptance of that breach by the employee, who in turn treats the contract of employment as at an end. The employee must act in response to the breach and must not delay any action too long. A common breach by the employer occurs when it, or its employees, have broken the implied contractual term of trust and confidence. The conduct relied on could be a single act, or a series of less serious acts over a period of time, which together could be treated as serious enough (usually culminating in the 'last straw' scenario). SO this is what you would be relying on to take it further
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. I appreciate it. one last question, what if the Owner/Manager has never put a formal contract in place to begin with and is simply outlining verbally the employ and changes. Can I still hand in my notice and go for Constructive dismissal?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
The fact that no written contract existed does not mean that there were no contractually binding terms. A contract would be implied in any event and its terms would be those which were agreed at the outset or which were consistently applied over time. So if for a number of years you had worked a set number of hours or received a set level of pay and then this was changed then it will still amount to a contractual change even if the original terms were not in writing. What matters is to be able to show that there was an implied contract which would be based on the consistently applied terms over time.
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