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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50191
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My employer wants to change my terms and conditions, including

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hi, my employer wants to change my terms and conditions, including a move away from 37.5 hour week - where any additional hours worked were considered time off in lieu at a later date. The new proposals are that we will not be entitled to overtime or time off in lieu but expected to fulfil our duties in the hours deemed necessary to meet service demands. There are three of us in this position and in the last quarter all worked in excess of 50 hours each to meet service demands - which we could get back as TOIL. Any advice on how to respond to the new "hours necessary" clause? thanks
Hello how long have you worked there for? also please note that I am in tribunal today so may not be able to reply fully until later on in the day thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I have been employed since 1994, and in this post for two years. My employer is now considering this post as "senior" and as such says the clause is standard, however other senior posts are on a salary scale, far higher than mine, and I am on a spot salary. Other senior posts are contracted at 35 hours (I'm on 37.5) and get more holidays. Thank you.
Thanks for your patience. There are a few ways in which an employer may try and make changes to an employee’s contract of employment. These are by:· Receiving the employee’s express consent to the changes.· Forcefully introducing the changes (called 'unilateral change of contract').· Giving the employee notice to terminate their current contract and then offer them immediate re-engagement under a new contract that contains the new terms. If the changes are introduced without the employee's consent, then the following options are available: 1. Start working on the new terms but making it clear in writing that you are working ‘under protest’. This means that you do not agree with the changes but feel forced to do so. In the meantime you should try and resolve the issue either by informal discussions or by raising a formal grievance. 2. If the changes fundamentally impact the contract, for example changes to pay, duties, place of work, etc., you may wish to consider resigning and claiming constructive dismissal. The resignation must be done without unreasonable 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 you having at least 2 years' continuous service. You would then seek compensation for loss of earnings resulting from the employer's actions. 3. 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 try and justify the dismissal and the changes if they had a sound business reason for doing so. This could be pressing business needs requiring drastic changes for the company to survive. If no such reason exists, you 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 2 years' continuous would apply. Finally, it is also worth mentioning that sometimes employment contracts may try to give the employer a general right to make changes to an employee’s contract. As such clauses give the employer the unreserved 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 and the situation must warrant it. Any attempt to rely on such clauses will still be subject to the requirement of the employer to act reasonably and can be challenged as above. 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
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the reply and information it's very helpful. What can I say about the move from contracted 37.5 hours per week with time off in lieu for additional hours worked to the "work till its done" to meet the needs of the service? Seems unfair and open to abuse by my employer as well as potentially impacting on working time directives, work life balance and health? Thanks
Such clauses are not uncommon - for example we, as lawyers, almost always have these clauses included in our contracts - work on a salary for as long as needed until the work is done. There are of course limitations under Working Time Regulations and Minimum Wage rules but on the whole such clauses are lawful - the key is that this is a contractual change and the options on dealing with it are as highlighted above. Hope this clarifies?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Perfect - thanks again
You are welcome. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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