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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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At present I work a 56 hour rolling shift. My employer is considering

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At present I work a 56 hour rolling shift. My employer is considering changing to a 4 on 4 off shift. This will mean my working hours will change from 56 hours a week to 42 hours a week. Does my employer have to adjust my hourly rate so that I earn the same as I would have for 56 hours This would mean that I neither lost nor gained extra money
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello how long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It will be 10 years this June 2016
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Is the current arrangement stated in your contract, in other words are you contracted to work a 56 hour rolling shift? Also how long has that arrangement been in place for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My contract states a 56 hour rolling contract and has been since I started working here, and through two company takeovers, i.e I have Tupe'd twice now and the current company is upholding my terms and conditions of my contract.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Is the current employer making these changes as a result of the TUPE transfer - is this what has prompted this, for example to align you with their existing terms?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No they are not changes because of the Tupe transfer, The transfer was on 1st December 2016. This is changes that could be coming in sometime in March
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Ok, legally the employer is not required to adjust your pay to take into account the effect the changes will have on your pay. That is the ideal scenario but they do not have to. It would be a good way for them to try and show that the changes do not have a major impact on your current contract and could act to ‘soften the blow’ so to speak, but in the end it is down to them to decide if they would like to make these adjustments to keep you happy. If they do not make the adjustments and you are still forced to go through the changes they had proposed, then you can treat this as a change to your contractual terms and conditions. You do have certain protection against such changes, although it does not mean that they cannot be introduced if necessary. 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 affected employees will have certain options to try and challenge these changes. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have to try and resist the changes, 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
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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. 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.