Change to employment contracts

As an employer, you may wish to alter the employment contracts that you have in place, perhaps a change in opening hours/days. This is not as straight forward as you would perhaps like it to be, as it is a contract between you as an employer/the company and the employee both parties should agree the change.

Ideally, the employees would agree to the change and no problems arise but what do you do if the employees refuse the change. If you cannot obtain the voluntary agreement from the employees there are three options:

-    Continue to negotiate the change with the employees, revise the proposal or offer an incentive such as a pay rise or a one off bonus

-    Dismiss the employees on notice (you will need to set out the business reasons why) and then immediately offer re-employment on the new contractual terms when the current contract expires.

-    Impose the change unilaterally

There is a risk with 2 and 3 as this may give rise to a constructive dismissal claim.

The second option is a dismissal, whilst you may be offering new terms of employment the fairness will be based upon a number of factors such as the consultation that took place, the efforts to attempt to reach a compromise and the employees reasons for rejecting the new terms. The first option is the safest.

Its always best to seek our advice first!

Don’t forget, if you are a member of Lawgistics, log into your online account to download employment contracts.


Authors: Roxanne Bradley

Published: 31 Aug 2016


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