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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I work academy in Croydon. I'm paid a teacher's salary,

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I work for an academy in Croydon. I'm paid a teacher's salary, but for the past year I've been asked to do a job previously done by teachers during their 'free' lessons. This resulted in absolute chaos in that many of the behavioural problems from students weren't being logged onto the system. Since September 2015 we've had a new headmaster. He called me in to notify me that I was earning a teacher's salary and that I could continue in the position I was in and take a cut in salary or become a cover teacher for the school. Is this legal?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
How long have you worked there overall?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Since Sept. 2009. I was tuped over from Haling Manor High School to Harris Academy Purley.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** my colleague has asked me to assist with your query as it is more my area of law. Was there an arrangement that the job you have done for the past year was just a temporary one, or was it understood that this was to be a permanent change?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
It was a verbal agreement with the previous head.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.
But was it an agreement for it to b a permanent or temporary role?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I took it to be since he gave me more and more admin work.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.
So...permanent or temporary?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Permanent.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.
Thank you. So the key here is whether your current appointment was only going to be a temporary role or a permanent one. Unless you were issued with a formal contract to confirm it was a permanent position, you would have to rely on any discussions with the employer over this and how you were treated by them. As you can appreciate that means there will be a degree of uncertainty over the position and whether it was permanent or temporary. If it was a permanent appointment, the employer should not start changing your terms now and this would amount to a change to your contract of employment. If this was a temporary placement, they could now state that you have to move although reducing your alary would be more difficult because that would still amount to a breach of contract. So whilst they could change your job, they cannot easily reduce your pay at the same time. There are ways to challenge this, for example through a formal grievance at first and then you can consider your next steps, such as constructive dismissal. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have if the employer wants to change your contractual terms and what you can do about it, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45343
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.
Thank you. 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.

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