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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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A question about change to working hours. I have been working

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A question about change to working hours. I have been working for an employer since Aug 2014. I of course agreed to the inital contract, and at the time the working hours were 9-5 Monday to Friday, additionally with 1 week in 4 where I start at 11am, go home at 6pm, and work from home until 0000hrs, and then i need to answer the 'on call phone' if it rings during the hours of 0000 until 9am the next morning. I get paid an additional sum for the week that I work unsociable hours.
However, the company has grown, and now they are proposing a change to the working hours to the following :
5 week rota
Week 1 : 2200 - 0600 mon-fri
Week 2 : Mon and Tuesday off to allow for the previosu weeks night shifts, then wed to friday 9am to 5pm
Week 3 : 0500 - 1400 mon-fri
week 4 : 1500 - 2300 mon-fri
Week 5 : 0800 - 1600 mon-fri
My main concern is of one of time away from family(not money). With this new rota, I worked out that my hours between 1600 and 2100 when the family partner and 2 girls are "available" and are awake when I usually see them, is reduced by 53%. In other words, a lot of the new schedule requires me to work and I will consequently see my family very little.
For this reason, i have not yet agreed to the new rota. AS i do not want "family time" to be reduced.
Additionally, the company has removed 3 of the other engineers from the rotation, to do 9-5 only, and employed a further 4 engineers who have all agreed to the new rotation when offered the role.
I was approached my a manager and asked what i though of the new rotation, and I said I would think it thorugh.
My question is, can I refuse to move to the new rotation without fear of loosing my job? Or is there any way i can "persuade them" to allow me to work at home (which we do already) during the new hours which I would normally be at home?
Happy to provide further clarification or detail if required.
Kindest reagrds.
How long have you worked there please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Since August 2014
Apologies for not getting back to you sooner, I experienced some temporary connection issues and could not get back on the site until now. All appears to be resolved now so I can continue dealing with your query. The biggest hurdle here will be your length of service. If you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, etc.). I see no evidence that any of these exceptions apply here so you would not be able to rely on them. What this means in practice is that they can simply give you notice to terminate your existing contract and re-employ you on the new terms, which you can either accept or reject, with the latter amounting to a resignation/dismissal. Or if you protest too much and refuse to be bound by these terms they could just give you straight notice to terminate your employment and in both situations you would not be able to challenge the dismissal as you do not meet the minimum criteria. The only way to try and get something positive out of them would be through negotiation and as each employer is different, it is impossible to say what tactics may work with them. There is no exact science to it though – it is as simple as making it clear what your concerns are, what you can and can’t accept and finding some middle ground. In the end it may have to come down to both you and the employer compromising on certain aspect to achieve a ‘happy’ medium. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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