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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47889
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi i just want to know i work day shift 8 to 4.30 which is

Resolved Question:

Hi i just want to know i work day shift 8 to 4.30 which is in my aggrement and some of the employees want to change it to 8 to 4 the employer said they are not changing the aggrement but the employees can do it by voting i dont want to change my hours are they aloud to change it like that
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to be able to assist with your question today. Please let me know how long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have worked there for 22 years
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
Are you a member of a union and of so - are they the ones that are negotiating with the employer over the proposed changes?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes we are all in the same union, the union went to the company and ask them could the hours be changed they said they are not changing the aggrement but the workers can change there hours by voting, some of us dont want to change because it means shorting our lunch break our aggrement is a legally binded document, thats why we thing they cant change it like that,

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
This can be a rather complex matter if the union is involved in the negotiations and it could actually be possible that the union reaches an agreement with the employer over these changes and they would then become legally binding on all of its members, regardless of whether they agree to them or not.

This is something known as a 'collective agreement'. It is basically an agreement or arrangement between an employer and a trade union. Such an agreement may cover terms and conditions of employment and conditions of work and it may have binding consequences as between a worker and an employer if it is incorporated into the worker's contract. So it is important to check whether your contract has anything regarding collective agreements and check their details and what the union can do on your behalf.

If no collective agreements exist, then you may argue that any of the proposed changes are not legally binding on you because you have not been consulted or agreed to them.

If the changes are introduced forcefully then the following options are open to you:

1. Start working on the new terms but making it clear in writing that they are working ‘under protest’. This means that you do not agree with the changes but are only working them because you feel they are forced to. In the meantime you should try and resolve the issue either by informal discussions or by raising a formal grievance.

2. If the changes are serious enough (e.g. a change to pay, duties, place of work, etc.) you may wish to consider resigning and claiming constructive dismissal. The resignation must be done without undue 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 1 year’s continuous service.

3. Finally, 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 justify the dismissal and the changes if they had a sound business reason for dismissing an employee who refuses to accept the variation in terms. 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 1 year’s continuous would apply.

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