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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45376
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I work maintenance company, my hours are mon - thurs

Resolved Question:

I work maintenance company, my hours are mon - thurs 8 till 4.30 fri 8 till 3.30 and do a call out rota of 1 on 2 off.
My company are now arranging routine jobs on a Wednesday night from 18.30 till 21.00 and a Saturday morning which the people on call are being forced to do, I class this as compulsory overtime which I don't want to do as on call is call outs not routine jobs but I have been told I will be disciplined if I don't do these jobs.
Where do I stand with my rights as I asked contract but it never got sent out.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Ben Jones :

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

Customer:

8 years 4 months

Ben Jones :

If you were on call what would the usual arrangements be? Would you be at home/. Are you paid time?

Customer:

you are at home, you get a phone call to go to an emergency and get paid from the time you leave till you return at a rate of time and half or double time

Ben Jones :

How long has that arrangement been in place for?

Customer:

my company made the arrangement with the housing association last year to do routine maintenance jobs on a Wednesday night and Saturday morning, we just got told if your on call you need todothem

Ben Jones :

does your contract say anything about this?

Customer:

I asked contract but they never sent it out from what I remember all it says is that you must do an on call rota

Ben Jones :

and how long have you done the on call rota for?

Customer:

8 years

Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

You can argue that the recent arrangements amount to a change to your contract (unless the employer can show you that this is something which was allowed under your original contract of employment).

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, 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 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 so. This could be pressing business needs requiring drastic changes company to survive. If no such reason exists, you can make a claim 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? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Customer:

thank you that is great I will put in a formal letter as no one in the workforce was consulted it was forced on us

Ben Jones :

you are welcome hopefully this gives you an idea of what your legal position is

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45376
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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