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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47881
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been working as a head chef at premier inn in Birmingham

Customer Question

I have been working as a head chef at premier inn in Birmingham for the last year although my contract had not officially changed even though I kept asking for this to happen. I was injured at work due to a machine that I requested be fixed but wasn't and was signed off for four weeks. I have just found out that in absence a new head chef was employed and has replaced me and I am expected to have a cut in ours and go back to being a breakfast chef. I have tried to contact my manager but have had no response and have now found out she is off sick and then in holiday for the next month. I have for the last twelve months been working and average of 49 hours a week and am now expected to go down to thirty hours. What are my rights!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What is your continuous service with this employer?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
For Ben Jones I have worked for the company for two and a half years as a breakfast chef and the last fifteen months as a head chef.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and will get back to you as soon as possible. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Apologies for not getting back to you sooner, I experienced some temporary connection issues and could not get back on the site until now. All appears to be resolved now so I can continue dealing with your query.
The key factor here is whether your promotion to head chef was intended as a permanent move or if it was just a temporary thing. I know you were not issued with a contract to reflect this change but that would not necessarily be a problem if you and the employer had clearly agreed at the start that this move was going to be a permanent one. So it would depend on what was discussed and agreed at the outset.
If the move was a permanent one then you could treat what has just happened as a change to your contract of employment, even if a written contract was not issued. That is because an implied contract would have been in place regardless and its terms would have been those which were agreed at the start of your move.
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, which you have.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.