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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 62718
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I just wanted to know what my standing is as far as my

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Hi
JA: Hello. How can I help?
Customer: Hi. I just wanted to know what my standing is as far as my employment contract goes. I have an existing contract from December 2018 which states that my working hours are 9 to 6 Monday to Friday. I have received an amended contract which they want me to sign which now has my working hours as 9 to 6 Monday to Friday and 10 to 4 every alternate Saturday. They have kept my salary at the same. £30000 per annum. I also want to know what the statutory time allowed for lunch, tea etc is for my working hours.
JA: Have you discussed the employment contract issue with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: No, our company does not have an HR department. I report directly to the owner of the business who is the person who has sent me the revised contract. I do not have a lawyer.
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I am an employee. My title is Administration and Accounts Manager. No I do not belong to a union.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I think that is all for now.

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

So what concerns you most about this; the increase in working hours or the rate of pay?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thank you Ben. Both really. I can not really afford to work the extra hours without an increase in pay as I need to up my income and will therefore need to do part time work over the weekends. I already work a lot more than is required by the company and I think that they are now trying to milk the situation. I would like to go back to them and say that I am not prepared to commit to the extra hours unless my salary amended accordingly.

Thank you. 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.

Can I please check if you have only been employed there since Dec 2018

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
I worked for them as a contractor for about 5 years before but as a full time salaried employee from 1 Dec 2018.

Thank you. Due to the employment status differences, your continuous employment as far as employment rights are concerned will be from Dec 2018.

 

If you have been continuously employed at you place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as the decision is not based on a reason which makes a dismissal automatically unfair. These include:

· Discrimination due to a protected characteristic (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.)

· Taking, or trying to take, leave for family reasons including pregnancy, maternity/paternity leave, parental leave, adoption leave or leave for dependants

 

However, if the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions, you would not be able to challenge it. In that case your only protection would be if you were dismissed in breach of contract. That would usually happen if you were not paid any contractual notice period due to you (unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct, where no notice would be due). If you did not have a written contract in place you would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week.

 

You may be thinking what does this have to do with your situation because they are not dismissing you, but the employer can also terminate your existing contract under the above rules and as long as they give you the required notice period and honour your existing contract during that, they can bring it to an end, without you being able to challenge it. So they can legally terminate the old contract and issue a new one, which you can either accept, or decline, but that may result in your termination instead.

 

As to what rest breaks you are entitled to, legally you only get a 20-minute break for every 6 hours of work. So you could be working 11 hours in a day and still only get one unpaid 20-minute break. Anything more than that is a bonus but at the discretion of the employer.

 

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thank you. I guess I will have to take my chances and see what happens. Thank you for the help.

All the best

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