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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48158
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My question is my employer force me to do evening shift

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My question is my employer force me to do evening shift which starts 2 p.m and finish 10 p.m.
Are they force me according to my this contract
“The basic weekly hours are 20 per week, worked between 8.00 a.m. and 8.00 p.m. Monday to Friday, but you will be expected to work up to 57.5 hours per week when it is necessary to do so. Altough tese extra hours are not contractual, you will be expected to work them as and when required.”
Even in my contract there are no shifits
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
4 years 6 months
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice in a while and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

No problem at all.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for your patience. According to your contract you would be expected to work whatever hours are required by the employer, up to 20 per week to be worked between the hours of 8am and 8pm. There is a right for the employer to ask you to work additional hours to those, for example more than 20 a week or outside of the specified times but this should not result in a permanent change to your hours. So it is a right which should be applied only from time to time and as needed by the business, but not become a permanent feature. If they are asking you to move your shifts to do longer hours or working outside of the contracted hours then that would amount to a contractual change which you can consider challenging. You may do so by raising a grievance first before considering your next move.

Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss other options you have to challenge a variation in your contract. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. If the change appears to be permanent then it will amount to a change to your contract. 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.