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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47424
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi I am a Senior taecher in a secondary school. A number

Resolved Question:

Hi
I am a Senior taecher in a secondary school. A number of support posts are disappearing at my school and the people in these positions will be made redundant. I rely on a number of these people to carry out my own job. It will have massive implications for my own workload if I am expected to fill the work gaps that apply directly to me. Can my employers legally force me to cover any of their responsibilities if its not in my job description?
Julie
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hi, you left a negative rating without eve answering my initial query above. Please respond to it so I can continue my advice for you, thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have worked there for 9 years. I'm not sure what extra information you need- basically I am already working to capacity and I am unable to take on any extra workload. I am concerned that my employers might insist that some of the work done by employees facing redundancies can be absorbed by myself. I am hoping that the law will protect me on this. There is also a statement in my contract that states that the school Governors have a duty to protect my work and home life balance.

Julie

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hi Julie, if the proposed changes will significantly change your existing terms and conditions and you are going to be expected to take on additional work as a result then you can argue that this amounts to a change to your existing contract and challenge it as such.
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.
Hope this clarifies your position and I would be grateful if you could please update your earlier rating, many thanks
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