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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50191
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I work in an office that was centralised 18 months ago with

Customer Question

I work in an office that was centralised 18 months ago with Managers and Juniors undertaking the same tasks. My boss has now decided to adjust the salaries to reflect the equality of positions. 3 employees are getting pay rises and I am getting a pay deduction. The terms of employment are being changed slightly to reflect these pay changes but this includes extended working hours and non-payment for out of hours working which is based on an on-call rota. Is this fair for my employer to expect me to take a pay cut but have additional working requirements placed on me when the other three members of the team are receiving a pay increase to reflect the changes. I will still be paid slightly more that the other three employees but my pay will be frozen with no increases until the other three reach my salary.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 years ago.
Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to be able to assist with your question today. Please let me know how much is your salary being decreased by?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

£2600 PA

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 years ago.
There are several ways in which an employer may try and make changes to an employee’s contract of employment. These are:

1. By receiving the employee’s express consent.
2. By forcefully introducing the changes (called 'unilateral change of contract').
3. By giving the employee notice to terminate their current contract and then offer them immediate re-engagement under a new contract that contains the changes.

If the employee agrees to the changes then that would usually put an end to the matter.

If the changes are introduced forcefully then the following options are open to the employee:

1. Start working on the new terms but making it clear in writing that they are working ‘under protest’. This means that the employee does not agree with the changes but is only working them because they feel they are forced to. In the meantime they should try and resolve the issue either by informal discussions or by raising a formal grievance.

2. If the changes are serious enough (e.g. a change to pay, duties, place of work, etc.) the employee may wish to consider resigning and claiming constructive dismissal. The resignation must be done without undue 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 the employee having at least 1 year’s continuous service.

3. Finally, 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 justify the dismissal and the changes if they had a sound business reason for dismissing an employee who refuses to accept the variation in terms. This could be pressing business needs requiring drastic changes for the company to survive. If no such reason exists, the employee 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 1 year’s continuous would apply.

It is also worth mentioning that sometimes employment contracts may try to give the employer a general right to make changes to the employee’s contract. As such clauses give the employer carte blanche 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. Any attempt to rely on such clauses will still be subject to the requirement of the employer to act reasonably.

Please take a second to leave a positive rating as that is a very important part of our process. Your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Ben


I understand that employers can alter terms and conditions of employment, however what I am unsure of is the fact that three employees are reciving additional money and are having the changes implemented whereas I am receiving a pay cut but am having the same conditions applied. Is this reasonable behaviour on the part of my employee.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 years ago.
not by reducing your pay, they can increase theirs but it foes not justify reducing yours
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

What course of action is open to me. I do not really want to go to Tribunals etc, I would sooner try and resolve matters amicably.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 years ago.
only the options I listed above, the internal grievance procedure should really be your first step