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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Working on a guaranteed minimum hours contract but been

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Working on a guaranteed minimum hours contract but been doing extra constantly for 9 months, employer cut my hours by 20% to give to another employee who was also doing over their guaranteed minimum hours. Is my employer allowed to do this?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hello how long have you worked there for and do you mean your guaranteed hours have been cut?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I started my employment with the company 9 months ago, and have been given 45 hours per week since I started. However new schedules have been done for the forthcoming weeks and I have been reduced to 33hours. My contract states 28 hours minimum.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Thank you. In the circumstances the employer had not actually done anything wrong from a legal perspective. Your rights are determined by your contract and in your case the terms state that you are guaranteed a minimum of 28 hours. You may have been getting 45 hours for the last 9 months but that is not a contractual entitlement, it would have been done at the company’s discretion. Now they have decided to reduce the hours you do to around 33 but the key is that this is still in accordance with your contract because the employer only has to ensure that they are giving you a minimum of 28 hours, which even after the reduction they will still do.

Another issue is your length of service. Even if this was a breach by the employer your onLy option to challenge this would be to resign and claim constructive dismissal. However, you are unable to do this unless you have at least 2 years service with the employer al this would not be an option in your case.

So what they have done is legal because they have only changed your non-contractual hours and they are still giving you hours which are in accordance with the terms of your contract.

I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hi sorry for some reason only part of my response had shown earlier, all of it is now on this page, can you please let me know if you have managed to read it and if you have any further questions, thanks

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I can now read it and understand it.
Thank-you for clearing it up.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

You are welcome. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
My original question was only half answered, does that mean that even with all contracts being fulfilled, hours can be reallocated between staff without reasons as and when the manager feels like it?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Yes that is certainly possible, your rights are to expect the employer to adhere to your contractual hours, which in your case are a minimum of 28. If the employer really wanted to they could give everyone on the minimum hours their contract entitled them to and they could allocate any extra hours to whoever they want, so someone could be just getting 28 hours whilst someone else could be getting a lot more than that. There is nothing in law which says that the hours must be allocated evenly, the only requirement is that you are given the hours under contract. Hope this clarifies?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hello, has your question now been answered?

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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