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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Can an employer change my contract notice period from 3

Resolved Question:

Good afternoon.
Can an employer change my contract notice period from 3 months to 1 month without my agreement?
Kind Regards,
Kenneth
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.

How long have you worked there for please?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I started with them on 23rd March 2016. My employer wants to change my notice period from 3 months to 1 month, I feel that it is unnecessary and presents an exposure I would be uncomfortable with given family commitments.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. If you have a contract in place then generally the employer can only change its terms with your consent or if there is a clause allowing them to do so. They could also a,end the terms by terminating the existing contract legally and then re-issuing you with a new contract containing the new terms. This is how the employer can get away with it here. As you do not have 2 years service you are not protected against unfair dismissal which means they can terminate your employment for more or less any reason, subject to a few exceptions which do not appear to apply here. They could therefore give you notice of termination for the current contract, which would be 3 months, and allow that time to pass and at the end of it your current contract would come to an end. They could then give you a new contract with the new reduced notice period and you can either take that and continue in employment,nor reject it in which case your employment would terminate as you had already been given notice which has expired. This would all be done legally as they had given you the correct notice and you cannot challenge their decision as you have no protection under unfair dismissal laws. Just ensure you are given the correct notice for termination, otherwise it can be a breach of contract on their part.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have should they not terminate the existing contact correctly, 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, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.

Thank you. If the employer does not give you the correct notice to terminate your existing contract that would be a breach f contract. As you cannot claim for unfair dismissal all you can claim for is the pay you would have been de under this contract, for example 3 months for the notice period. So that is what you can potentially pursue them for.

If it comes to that then in order to try and resolve this, the employer should be contacted in writing, advised that this is being treated as breach of contract and ask them to pay the money within 7 days. Advise them that if they fail to pay the money that is owed, legal proceedings could follow.

If the employer does not return the money as requested, the following options are available:

1. Employment Tribunal - the time limit to claim is only 3 months from the date the deductions were made. To make the claim, form ET1 needs to be completed and submitted - you can find it here: https://www.employmenttribunals.service.gov.uk/employment-tribunals

2. County Court – this is an alternative way to claim and the advantage is that the time limit is a much longer 6 years and is usually used if you are out of time to claim in the Tribunal. The claim can be made online by going to: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk.

Hopefully by warning the employer you are aware of your rights and are not going to hesitate taking further action they will be prompted to reconsider their position and work towards resolving this.