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Jones – new terms in employment contract (1) Mr A

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For Ben Jones – new terms in employment contract (1)
Mr A has been working for Company X since 6th June 2006, therefore 9 years and 9 months.
Mr A has been promoted on two occasions that Mr A reached managerial level.
Mr A moved within the same functional department but doing a different role suited for the same level of managerial role for the last 3 years.
Company X has introduced a new grading system. Company X is asking Mr A to sign a new employment contract which states Mr A’s new grade and salary, title and benefits (no change), new terms additions have been made.
Let’s assume:
New grade has been informed by letter on 5th March 2016
Contract has been given to employee on 12th March 2016.
Contract is effective 2nd April 2016.
Contract must be signed and returned by 1st April 2016.
What does the law state about how much notice or time employees must be given for such changes?
Please explain what the below term in the contract means?
What are the implications on Mr A?
“Your employment under these terms will begin on the 2nd April 2016 and for the purposes of the Employment Rights Act 1996 your period of continuous employment commenced on 6th June 2006 and will continue until it terminates on 3rd November 2016 without the need for further notice, unless previously terminated by either party”
Hi there, why will the employment terminate in November? Is this a fixed term contract?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, its been permanent employment since 6th June 2006.

Mr A, is told the only reason Mr A is being required to sign a new contract is because of this new grading system and to update the old contracts with new legal requirements.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'll be checking my answers around 4/5pm today.

No problem if you need more time, just let me know.

Hello, in terms of the notice required to change an employee’s contractual terms there is nothing specific about this. There is no law which states X weeks or months must be given to effect changes to a person’s contract. As discussed in my advice yesterday, there are a few ways an employer could try and change an employee’s contract and without their consent they could either forcefully introduce these changes immediately or at short notice, or formally terminate the employee’s contract and re-employ them on the new contract incorporating the new terms. In the second option they would need to give the employee’s contractual notice period, which must be at least as long as the statutory notice period they are entitled to. This is a week per year of service so in this case it would be 9 weeks’ notice. They can still introduce the changes with a shorter notice period though, as in this case, and the employee can only then challenge this through a grievance or as a final resort – by leaving and claiming constructive dismissal. Therefore, unless the employer formally gives notice to terminate the contract, there is no specific notice period required by law to introduce the changes. He can still push for the notice period of 9 weeks if he wants to though. As to the clause in question, it means that the new terms will begin to apply from 2 April 2016, so the old terms from the old contract will no longer apply after that date. However, his continuous service with the company will go back to the start of his employment back in 2006 and this is what matters when his rights in terms of entitlement to redundancy, protection against unfair dismissal, notice periods, etc are concerned. So he retains his continuous service but will be subject to new terms as of 2 April. I would question why it states it will terminate in November though – that suggests it is a fixed term contract which only lasts until November. If this is supposed to be a permanent/indefinite position there should be no wording like that, so it would have to be removed. 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
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It appears that the employer is getting Mr A to sign a new contract starting on 2nd April 2016 with continuous employment which commenced on 6th June 2006. But key point is that the new contract will terminate on 3rd November 2016 without the need for further notice. Effectively making the contract a fixed term contract.

This has not been explained to Mr A. is it legal to do this without explaining this?

Can that in itself be considered constructive dismissal?

No need to explain it - it is specified in the terms, he is expected to check the terms before agreeing to them. Simply including this term will not be constructive dismissal, but if they had intended to place him on a fixed term contract from a permanent one then yes that could be constructive dismissal
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK thank you, understood.

Shall Mr A ask his employer to explain what their intention is by adding that clause in?

Yes certainly. It could well be just an error. This needs to be resolved before the contract becomes effective
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

ok, thank very much for clarifying all my queries so far.

we can close this thread

You are welcome