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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50157
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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For the past 15 years my company has paid me weekly in

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For the past 15 years my company has paid me weekly in arrears. They now wish to change this to monthly in arrears.What if any, legal rights do I have to resist this change?

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

Is this happening to everyone else as well?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Ben
I believe that the management staff are already on a monthly salary.
I am a shop worker in Cornwall, and like my colleagues in the shop earn little over the minimum wage in my role as a supervisor. I believe that my fellow shop workers are similarly affected. As you will understand, whilst I can see the benefit to the business owner in terms of deferment of cash outflows and lower payroll processing costs, the move will place considerable financial burden upon me at a time when the quiet winter season ( the shop is close to a major beach in North Cornwall ) means that available hours to work are already at a low point.Regards

Thank you, ***** ***** the employer is proposing to do will likely amount to a contractual change, even if the payment period is not mentioned in your contract. That is because the frequency would have become an implied contractual term due to being in place for such a long time.

An employer does have the right to change an employee’s contract, although certain procedures must be followed. Ideally they should receive the employee’s consent, although this is not always possible. If no agreement is reached, the employer would potentially look at forcing the changes through. They need to consult with the affected employees first and discuss the proposed changes and reasons for them. They then need to give the employees reasonable notice of the changes, so not just introduce them overnight or at short notice. In your case they should give you sufficient notice to ensure that you have made whatever necessary arrangements there are to cover yourself for these changes, like ensuring direct debits are changed, etc. Finally, they should try and show that this is a reasonable change which was necessary in the circumstances. This last point can be somewhat subjective but in the end if they can justify it that it is needed for business reasons, they would be able to introduce the changes as long as it is done fairly and not at short notice.

There is nothing stopping you from opposing this but assuming most others are open to this idea or it already applies to them, it can result in you being a lonely voice with little power to oppose this I’m afraid.

I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the actual legal position. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service I have provided regardless of the contents of the answer, I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. Thank you

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Ben
Thank you for your response.
From what you say, am I correct in assuming that providing the employer gives " reasonable " notice then they could change it to quarterly in arrears with or without the employees consent. My instincts are telling me that the business may be under a degree of financial pressure.Thank you for your help

Do you mean quarterly, as in you getting paid 4 times a year?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Ben
Yes, hypothetical I know, but this issue is only a small part of what the new owners are trying to implement with regard to my terms of employment.Regards

Well the changes have to be reasonable. Being paid monthly is reasonable - most workers would get paid at that frequency. If they increase it to quarterly then that would likely make it unreasonable, considering it is quite uncommon, plus taking into account the work you do it can make it an unfair and unreasonable change. So it does not mean they can change it to whatever they want, it still has to pass the reasonableness test. Hope this clarifies?

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