Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. What is the usual notice one may get if they were to cover sickness or holidays? Please note that I am due offline shortly but will pick this up first thing in the morning.
The law is relatively silent on this matter. For example, there are no defined minimum notice periods in law which an employer must give to ask you to work a specific day or to change your rota. Their ability to do so and the notice periods required will be defined in the contract. It essentially allows the employer to determine what your rights in such a situation would be by defining these in your contract or a relevant workplace policy.
One main issue for you here is your length of service, because with less than 2 years’ service you are not protected against unfair dismissal. This unfortunately means that the employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason and without following a fair procedure. So worst case scenario here – you do not do the shift as requested and in turn the employer decides to treat this as a misconduct matter and terminates your employment. You would not be able to challenge that, regardless of what is in the contract.
So I suggest you approach the employer, explain that you cannot do the shift and that this is due to you having already made plans due to the already published rota and apologise for your unavailability. They may not be happy still and could issue you with a warning but I hope that this soft approach will avoid a potential dismissal.
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