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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49819
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been employed by a company 10 years

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I have been employed by a company for approximately 10 years as a sales negotiator and my responsibilities involve carrying out viewings and negotiating on potential sales. I also deal with advising clients on sales and letting of properties. I work 8.5 hours for 3 days, 6.5 hrs for 1 day each week and 3 hours one Sunday in four. They are in the process of recruiting another person to carry out those tasks and have requested I reduce my hours to 1 day at 8.5 hours and 1 day at 6.5 hours and retaining the 3 hours one Sunday in 4. I do not want to reduce my hours at the moment but would not be against doing so in about 9 months time. I have been told they may want me to cover in holidays or sickness or at any time extra hours are required. I am 69 years old and have been successful in my position I have held in selling property. Can you advise me on my legal position of refusing the request to reduce my hours. Should you need to contact me by phone 01638 718979 I am available on Tuesday mornings and all day on Wednesday.
I would appreciate your advice.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Do you have a contract which states what your current hours are?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Ben, I do have a contract
If your employer is looking at reducing your hours then that would amount to a changer to your terms and conditions. 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 trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or 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.
The new employee will be working 9-5 Monday to Friday so will be working different hours for 'continuity ' but not on a Saturday. This would mean that we would double up on a Friday but they would not be working on a Saturday as I would, so the 'continuity ' argument is surely not admissible. I do not work on Tuesday or Wednesday and have never done so. There are other negotiators within the company but only myself and another employee carry out viewings. I do not want to work 9-5 Monday to Friday but I have not been asked to do so as I may have agreed had I been approached.
Are these valid arguments in my favour?
Yes certainly, any holes in the employer's argument would work in your favour. The ones you have mentioned are certainly ones you could use in your argument during any negotiations with the employer.
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