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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47340
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Can an employer change terms and conditions of a self employed

Resolved Question:

can an employer change terms and conditions of a self employed contractor without
notice or negotiating
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What terms are being changed?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I work on a commission basis they have lowered the commission rate and increased the target for bonus payment
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am on a target bonus which has been altered without any discussion
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What I really want to know is what notification should I receive before my target is increased to a higher level, at the moment it is increased at the time the previous target has nearly been reached to make the bonus unattainable.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Does the contract contain a notice period for termination?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No and I have worked for them for 16 years, 15 months ago they put in writing (letter to each sales rep ) that they were lowering the commission rate but no mention of how the targets would be set for bunus
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Unless the contract specifically allows for changes to be made without any notice or consultation, doing so would likely amount to breach of contract in the employer’s part. Changes are possible because it may not be possible for a contract to remain exactly the same forever, but a fair procedure should be followed when that happens. Initially, this should be some consultation with the affected worker to try and reach an agreement. If that is not possible then the employer should try and follow some fair procedure to try and force the changes through. Generally, that would assume to mean finding a legal way to terminate the current contract and then offer a new contract to the worker with the new terms. This would be by giving the termination notice required under contract to bring the existing contract to an end. In the absence of a specific notice period, a reasonable notice period would be implied and expected. If such notice is given then the employer could try and terminate the current contract and try to place you into the new one, incorporating the new terms, which you can then either accept or reject. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law on notice periods in similar cases, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Under law, only employees are entitled to receive a minimum notice period in the event that their employment is terminated by their employer. The self-employed do not have the legal right to minimum notice periods on termination. Whether a self employed worker is entitled to a notice period will depend on their contract. If there is a termination clause that specifies a notice period on termination, the employer would be expected to give that notice if they wish to end the employment relationship. However, it is often the case that no written contract exists, or there is no notice clause in it. In such situations, the worker can still expect a 'reasonable' notice period to have their employment terminated. This is because even in the absence of a written contract they will be working under an implied common law contract and to terminate such a contract a reasonable notice period is required. The only exception is if the contract was terminated because of gross misconduct, that is any misconduct serious enough to justify the employment relationship terminating immediately. What is a reasonable notice period will vary greatly and will depend on the individual circumstances, industry practices, length of employment, frequency of payment, etc. There are far too many variables to consider, which means it is usually impossible to give a precise indication as to what would be reasonable in each case. It is therefore down to the courts to make that decision. The worker can nevertheless raise this issue with the employer and attempt to negotiate a reasonable notice period with them, a period that they will both be happy to accept.