How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50751
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

My Husband works for the Royal Mail. Like many employees he

This answer was rated:

My Husband works for the Royal Mail. Like many employees he is on a restricted hours contract and has to work on other duties to come up to full time , which he has always done.
He has been in their employment for 2 and a half years.
Whilst doing his job he would be required to cover for his manager in his absence and about 15 months ago his manager ( who had no contract for this role either) was removed and my husband was asked to cover the role ( contractual changes were repeatedly requested and promised during this period). He was paid as the manager during this period. He has continued to do this role since then until he went on jury service in April this year.
Upon returning from jury service (after 4 weeks) someone else was in situ doing this role, nobody has explained to him what is going on and he is expected to still do his contract role, which means he now only works 20 hours a week at basic pay as opposed to 41 hours a week at enhanced pay.
He has raised a grievance upon returning to work on 7th May and to date nobody has actually even acknowledged this. In the intervening period( on 19th May) he accelerated the grievance , by copying the correspondence on to the HR team,as it was not being answered and HR asked that a manger pick this up. Again everyone just ignored the request. I know from the correspondence with their HR team that they are frustrated at the lack of management action as well.
Not only is he out of pocket as he is earning half the pay he has in all the time he was at RM, this situation is being handled in an unprofessional if not illegal manner and we now (after 6 weeks of being ignored need to know how he has any legal standing and what we can do .
He did have a short conversation with ACAS who said that after doing the role for the time he did it doesn't matter that he doe not have a contract for the role.
Your advice would be appreciated

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded. For now please let me know what is your specific question.

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hello, I understand you had problems viewing chat so I will try a different format. There is a principle in employment law where terms may become implied into an employment contract by ‘custom and practice’. This makes them contractually binding even if they are not written down anywhere. This area of law is rather complex and it is usually only down to the tribunals and courts to establish with certainty if something has become an implied term. Nevertheless, it does not prevent employees from directly raising this argument with their employers.

The basic requirement for implying terms is the presumed intention of the parties, in other words - did the employer and employee intend for the term(s) in question to be treated as contractual. In general, a practice would need to have been clearly communicated and consistently applied for a substantial period of time before it can be considered an implied contractual term. Therefore, something that is uncertain, has not been applied consistently or has just been around for a few months is unlikely to qualify.

You may tell the employer that you believe the term or practice you are relying on has been implied into the contract through 'custom and practice' and see what they say. They could of course deny that and refuse to discuss the matter and if that is the case then you can only realistically challenge this by taking your case to an employment tribunal. Unfortunately the usual way to do this is to resign first and then make a claim for constructive dismissal and that can be a risky move as he will be giving up his job and the claim could be difficult to win.

I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating. Your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you