To think you can't be forced to change work hours?

(22 Posts)
spindletree Sun 18-Sep-16 08:10:32

Hoping for a bit of traffic please, as DH needs info for tomorrow - and he just told mewink

My DH has been in a position for around 4 years ( skilled manual worker)
At regular intervals his supervisors invite him to change his hours.
On more than one occasion he has indulged them - even though it made it much more complicated regarding my work/childcare.
Anyway, for a little bit - he has had pressure to consider a split shift. This simply won't work for us , again from a childcare/ car / perspective.
The other worker involved is also unable to commit, for exactly the same reasons.
The split shift would be completely impossible. Starting much later, and finishing too late for car share / childcare. The flip shift , would be just as difficult.
A couple of the bosses, have started making little comments such as : " We'd hate to lose you "
There has been zero incentive for him - plus it would never be enough to make this whole mess work for us.
This is a company that prides itself on its humanitarian attitude & eco friendly stance.
What should he do on Monday please, the nagging is sure to start again and he is unsure of his legal rights.
Thank you.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sun 18-Sep-16 08:12:40

Does his contract specify his current hours? Are there any clauses about varying them?

I believe legally, as long as you're given appropriate notice, your employer can change your hours. Has he had anything in writing?

starsinyourpies Sun 18-Sep-16 08:13:07

Unfortunately I think from retail experience that if they can demonstrate a business need to do this they could go follow through to say his position as it is no longer exists.

There's some really useful info here:

http://www.workingfamilies.org.uk/articles/the-law-when-an-employer-asks-you-to-change-your-hours/

WhateverWillBe Sun 18-Sep-16 08:15:01

I know that within my job they could change the hours to whatever they liked, with enough written notice.

I think most companies are the same - very few would be shortsighted enough to not put a 'hours can be changed' clause into their contracts.

pinkmagic1 Sun 18-Sep-16 08:17:03

This happened to me a long time ago and unless things have changed then unfortunately an employer can change your working hours if they give notice. I seem to recall that it was a weeks notice for every year I had been there.

spindletree Sun 18-Sep-16 08:24:57

Thank you. I will check that link smile
I appreciate the other replies too.
Yes, he has a contract - l will ask him to check regarding the hours.

itsnotterrysitsmine Sun 18-Sep-16 08:39:37

You need to check exactly what is specified in his contract, and the exact wording of it too. Dependent upon that they may be within their rights to change his hours with no notice at all eg. If his contract says something along the lines of fully flexible between 07.00 to 22.00 Monday to Sunday.
If they are asking him to do something outside of what's specified, and will be a change to his terms and conditions they would need to give him 30 days notice.

Evilstepmum01 Sun 18-Sep-16 08:46:14

Have you contacted ACAS for advice? They're very helpful!

spindletree Sun 18-Sep-16 08:49:43

Thank you its - l will tell him.
He already does overtime to help - sometimes on minimal breaks, showing his flexibility. Plus, he has already changed his hours twice previously.
Apparently the company is going from "strength to strength" and they need people to move forward with them. hmm
It really appears as blackmail, although l'm aware that they won't have come up with it in a whim.

spindletree Sun 18-Sep-16 08:50:26

evil l will let him know, no he hasn't.

Lunchboxlewiswillyoumarryme Sun 18-Sep-16 08:52:19

My husband gets his hours changed constantly...they always are adding on hours,never taking them off..they cancel his days off with little notice..you can't plan anything and he's frequently left wandering the streets of London at 3 am because they changed his shift and the trains stopped so he can't get home...he sits in McDonald's all night till the first train at 6 am.then
He has to be back in work for 12 the next day...some employers do not care in the slightest

spindletree Sun 18-Sep-16 09:02:27

lunch shock
That is terrible!
-so sorry for your family .

Mummyoflittledragon Sun 18-Sep-16 09:02:42

lunchbox shock

pootlepootle Sun 18-Sep-16 09:07:25

lunchbox that is just awful.

maggiethemagpie Sun 18-Sep-16 10:45:16

I work in HR and employers can force a unilateral change to contract, but it is exceptional and would need to be done after a consultation process. Essentially, they could end his current contract and offer to re engage him on the new terms, if he refused then he would be dismissed and have to pursue it through a tribunal, the employer would then need to defend themselves by demonstrating that it was essential to business operations that they forced the change.

In practice it doesn't usually get that far, many employers would offer an incentive to change, or some sort of compromise... but they can force a change through as a last resort and I have seen this done. Particularly when most of the workforce agree to the change and there's just one or two that can't for whatever reason.

spindletree Sun 18-Sep-16 14:33:08

Maggie, the other operatives are not happy about it either.
Those in charge are facing a stalemate from quite a few of the team.
Thank you for your advice - l will tell him.

HaPPy8 Sun 18-Sep-16 14:48:01

What are the hours of the split shift? What is the advantage to the employer of having it that way?

JellyBelli Sun 18-Sep-16 14:52:29

A lot of companies are changing peoples contracts. They are getting away with it because this Govt doesnt care about employment rights.
These working practices discriminate against lone parents and disabled people, so in theory they are illegal.

I'd suggest your husband talks to ACAS.

''Call the Acas helpline on 0300 123 1100. Available Monday 8am-8pm, Tuesday 8am-6pm, Wednesday to Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday 9am-1pm.''
www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2042

spindletree Sun 18-Sep-16 16:16:44

The split shift would be: 7-3 / 10:45- 7
There is no particular advantage. My DH will sometimes do overtime till 7 anyway - whenever needed.
They are even talking about carrying on till 10 sometimes! They have said they are happy with his work as it is / on these hours.
We couldn't make that work without purchasing a section car- we simply can't afford it. We also live rurally - there is no public transport.
The hours he has now, allow us to drop one child at one school, another at another & me at work! smile
Jelly l will tell DH - thank you.

spindletree Sun 18-Sep-16 16:17:56

*second car

MaddyHatter Sun 18-Sep-16 16:23:35

i think it depends.

my DH used to work in a company that had several shift patterns.
Some worked Days, some worked Nights, some did Mornings/Afternoons on a week about, others did a 3 shift rotation on Mornings/Nights/Afternoons. It all depended where they worked and what the requirements were for that job..If the 'count' went up and they needed to keep the lines running, they changed the shift pattern with 2 weeks notice.

In my job (Retail) they were allowed to make a 'reasonable request' to change my shifts, and if i didn't have a valid reason to refuse, i had to change them, or i could resign.

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