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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49826
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Years have you worked with your present employer: 9 Message

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Years have you worked with your present employer: 9
Message Body:
The company i currently work for is in the process of being sold. i have been asked to sign a new contract which is meant to be beneficial to me, however it is not. My working hours are being changes from 40 to unlimited. There are several other clauses in the new contract that were not in the current one. during the sale process i have been caught in the middle with my current and new employer both calling me but asking me not to tell the other party. this has made me extremely ill. i am currently still trying to work. i am told by my current boss to keep the new boss happy so the sale goes through. i have been advised if i dont sign the new contract the sale may not happen. this is causing me so much stress and affecting my private life. please can i have some advice

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

What exactly have both parties been discussing with you?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.

Please can you also tell me what you are ideally hoping for so that I can look into your options?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The sale of the company, both putting pressure on me not to tell the other party what is being said
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Constructive dismissal as I have handed my notice in due to the stress
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I don’t wish to talk on the phone

No problem at all and thank you for your response. Leave it with me for now and I will review the relevant information and laws and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Many thanks for your patience. What is happening here is that they are clearly changing your contractual terms and conditions. From time to time an employer may try to introduce changes to an employee’s contract of employment. Often this is for business or economic reasons. If they wish to do so, there are a few ways they can go about it:

· Receive the employee’s consent to the changes.

· Give the employee the required notice to terminate their current contract and re-engage them under a new contract containing the changes`.

· Simply forcing the changes through with no notice or consultation.

If the changes are introduced without the employee's consent, then the following options are available to them:

1. Start working on the new terms but making it clear in writing that this is done ‘under protest’. This means that they do not agree with the changes but feel forced to work under them as they have no option. In the meantime try and resolve the issue by raising a formal grievance. This is only a short-term solution though as the longer someone works under the terms, even under protest, the more likely it is that they will eventually be deemed to have accepted them.

2. If the employer gives notice to terminate the current contract and re-engages the employee on the new contract, it could potentially amount to unfair dismissal. However, the employer can try and justify their actions if they had a sound business reason for doing so, usually from an urgent financial perspective. If no such reason exists, it is possible to make a claim for unfair dismissal in the employment tribunal, subject to having at least 2 years’ continuous service with that employer.

3. If the changes fundamentally impact the contract, for example changes to pay, duties, place of work, etc., it is possible to resign and claim constructive dismissal. The employee must accept the changes and immediately resign in response to them. A claim is again dependant on the employee having at least 2 years' continuous service with the employer.

You have now resigned, you are still able to consider negotiating a settlement before you leave but if that is not possible then you may have to proceed with the constructive dismissal claim and take it further which would be the only option in the circumstances.

Please take a quick second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the steps you need to follow to take this further. There is no extra cost for this - leaving your rating now will not close the question and means we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you. Once your employment has terminated you have 3 months in which to initiate the next steps in the process of potentially making a claim against the employer for constructive dismissal.

Before a person can make a claim in the employment tribunal, they would be required to participate in mandatory early conciliation through the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

The purpose of this process is to allow ACAS to mediate between the claimant and respondent to agree on an out of court settlement in order to avoid the need for legal action in tribunal. The respondent does not have to engage in these discussions, or if they do and the talks are unsuccessful, the claimant will be issued with a certificate allowing them to make a claim.

However, if a settlement is reached, the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement. Other terms can also be agreed as part of the settlement, such as an agreed reference.

To initiate the conciliation procedure ACAS can be contacted online by filling in the following form (, or by phone on 0300(###) ###-####