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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 73475
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I am working for the healthcare company, which is changing

Customer Question

Good morning,
I am working for the healthcare company, which is changing its policy and contract and force us to get tracking apps and have access to our own devices. Are they allow to do that. Also they cut our mileage off
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

How long have you worked there for? and is there anything in your existing contract that allows the employer to make such changes?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Hello, I was wondering if you have had a chance to consider my query above please? I will need your response before I provide an accurate answer to your situation. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

Without the requested information, I can only provide you with the following general response, which will hopefully still answer your query. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

There are occasions when an employer may try to make changes to an employee’s contract of employment. If they wish to do so, there are a few ways in which they can do it:

- They can ask for the employee to give their consent to the changes.

- They can rely on a flexibility clause in the contract, allowing for certain changes to be made

- They can give the employee the required notice to terminate their current contract and re-engage them under a new contract, which contains the desired changes.

- They can ignore all of the above and simply force the changes through with no notice or consultation.

Assuming consent is given, the changes can be implemented with a simple variation to the contract or a separate addendum. If the changes are not agreed, based on which method the employer adopts to implement them, the following options are available to employees to challenge such actions:

1. If there is a flexibility clause, it must be precise and allow the specific changes that are proposed. Clear language in the drafting of the clause will be required to allow such a right. Any attempt to rely on such clauses will also be subject to the requirement of the employer to act fairly and reasonably and be able to show that it was necessary to apply the required changes and that there was no other way to resolve the situation. Consultation is key in these circumstances.

2. If the employer gives the employee notice to terminate their current contract and re-engages them under a new one, it could potentially amount to unfair dismissal. However, the employer can try and justify their actions if they had a solid business reason for doing so, most commonly due urgent financial needs. If no such reasons exist and it appears to have been an opportunistic approach by the employer to implement changes, it is possible to make a claim for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal, subject to having at least 2 years’ continuous service with that employer. This would be on the grounds that there has technically been a dismissal because the original contract was terminated by the employer.

3. If the employer forces the changes through, without any notice or consultation, the employee can start working on the new terms, then immediately write to the employer to make it clear that this is done ‘under protest’. This means that they do not agree with the changes but feel forced to work under them as they have no other option. In the meantime, they should try and resolve the issue by raising a formal grievance with the employer. This is only a short-term solution though as the longer someone works under the terms, even under protest, the more likely it is that they will eventually be deemed to have accepted them. Also, if the changes fundamentally impact the contract, for example changes to pay, duties, place of work, etc., it is also possible to consider resigning and making a claim constructive dismissal in the Employment Tribunal. The employee must accept the changes and immediately resign in response to them. A claim is again dependent on the employee having at least 2 years' continuous service with that employer.

Please see here for further information about this topic

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

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.