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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50157
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Hi I have been working for my employer since August 2011

Customer Question


I have been working for my employer since August 2011 on a part time contract, I am a teacher, each year I have worked additional hours on a fixed term basis to make up my hours and salary to full time this has been the arrangement for the last 3 years. I am currently on maternity leave ( during my 3rd year) , a colleague of mine has left my department and there is an opportunity for me to take up some additional hours to become full time on a perm basis- which is fine I am happy with this but the terms are:

1. I need to return from maternity leave early in May to take over from when the other teacher is leaving.

2. We have a new principle who is trying to impose new terms and condition of employment on new staff / any one promoted/ or who starts a new role from 1st April 2014. The new terms and conditions are 10 days less annual leave and 1 hour extra per week teaching. HR are advising me that I will need to sign up to this new contract even though I am not starting a ''new job'' ( I'm just picking up extra hours) I am also not being promoted either. I will need to give up my existing terms and conditions

My questions are

1.Does this sound legal? I don't mind returning to work early as I understand cover is needed - but is it legal to impose these new terms and conditions on me when I am not apply to a new role or being placed into a new role? Ideally I would like to keep my existing terms and conditions regarding leave and teaching hours per week.

I will dig out the letter and let you know the exact wording of the policy for new starters and the new contact terms and conditions from 1st April
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

I understand you are saying that you are not starting a new job, but legally you are because your current job is part time and the new job would be full time. It is not just the nature of the job or job title that defines a role, there are many other terms that are relevant too and the same duties part time would be considered a different job/position that the same duties being don full time. So it is possible for an employer to offer you a new contract for full time hours but on new terms to what you do now.

The main issue here would be whether you are being treated detrimentally because you are on maternity leave or not. For example, would an employee in the same position as you but not on maternity leave have been treated better than you in the circumstances. However, if this is a blanket policy on all new joiners/promotions since 1 April, then this is applied equally to all and not really discriminatory. So this is really a matter of accepting the new contract as it is or trying to negotiate some changes or refusing to do so and remaining on the current one.

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
Hello Kelly, please let me know if I have answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thank you