Hello, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. Strictly speaking you would have to agree to such changes if they amount to a change to your current contractual terms and conditions. However, they may be able to get away with this mainly due to your length of service.
Generally, 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. However, you need 2 years’ service to be able to do so which you do not have.
3. If the employment is terminated and the employer offers re-engagement on the new terms that could potentially amount to unfair dismissal. However, again you need 2 years’ service to be able to claim.
So in effect they can force you to resign because of this or end your current contract and re-issue you the new terms that exclude this payment and you cannot challenge it.
The only way you could be able to get something out of it is if you did not accept the changes and started working under protest and they did not actually take steps to terminate your current contract but just overrode it. In this case they would be acting in breach of contract because they are going against the terms of the current contract. You could then consider seeking compensation for the days you were not paid for until they either terminated your employment, you accepted the changes or they issued you with a new contract.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow if you wanted to take this further under breach of contract, 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 is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you