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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 70427
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My business has put staff on short time working. Removing

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My business has put staff on short time working. Removing 20% of workload and 20% of pay. sorry didnt finish
JA: Was this discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: Discussed an agreed by unions so no redundancies. They now see they cannot cover the work and so are planning to employ other people from outside of the business to do the work we are not doing,is this legal?
JA: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: These are fully contracted and unionised labour
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: nope that's it

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.

I'm sorry to hear of your situation at work. Do you know whether these employees will be employed on a temporary basis? Please also tell me how long you have worked there for?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
on temp sessional or fixed term - I have worked there for 4 years and the team pretty much between 4-6 years

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. Whilst the employer’s actions are not unlawful, they can certainly be challenged as unfair and unethical. If you had voluntarily reduced your hours and pay in good faith, in order to help the company, you can expect the same goodwill from them when work ramps up again and they need people to do the work. On that basis they should be looking at offering that work to the workers who had previously reduced their hours.

If they fail to do so then you can consider raising a grievance, which you can do collectively to make it stronger. After that, the only option you have is to resign and claim constructive dismissal, so you have to think carefully if you want to go that far, but if there are enough of you threatening to do so, the employer may find themselves in a difficult position where they won’t have enough staff to do the work and may have to look at offering you at least some of your old hours back in order to resolve this.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

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