Changes to your employment contract
Neither you nor your employer can change the terms of your employment contract without each other’s consent.
There are many reasons why an employer might want to change your contract. The business might be restructuring or moving, or they might need to make changes due to the introduction of new laws. Changes might be made to your duties and responsibilities, your employer’s duties and responsibilities, your salary, your working hours or another aspect of your contract.
Your employer must consult you or your representative and explain their reasons for the proposed changes and seriously consider alternative suggestions. Changes can be agreed upon directly with you or through your representative.
Please note that if a collective agreement has been reached between a representative body such as a trade union and your employer, then the changes still apply to you even if you are not a member of that body.
If your employer wants to change your contract, it is imperative to understand your legal rights.
You may be able to claim for constructive dismissal or breach of contract if there are fundamental changes that will have a detrimental impact on you. However, even if you do not sign the new contract, you may be deemed to have accepted the changes by your conduct in not objecting to them.
Talk to our employment law solicitors, who will answer any questions you have related to contract changes.
Employment contract disputes
An employment contract is legally binding. If an employer or an employee fails to abide by the agreed terms, they may be in breach of contract.
Contract disputes can arise for many reasons, including a poor working environment, an unreasonable increase in workload, redundancy, restrictive covenants, or a job role change.
A dispute could also arise due to discrimination resulting in being treated differently on the grounds of disability, ethnicity, gender, pregnancy, marital status or another factor. Such disputes can lead to discrimination claims under the Equality Act 2010.
Disputes may be resolved through company grievance procedures or through ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service). If conciliation fails, then a claim can be made to an employment tribunal. An employment tribunal is like going to court but is less formal.
If you think your employer is in breach of contract, but you are not sure, please talk to us. Our employment lawyers will advise you about your specific situation and the best course of action to take.