Changing work hours with little notice.

(15 Posts)
Rowgtfc72 Wed 09-Jan-13 19:08:28

Dh works for a large haulage company and has done for six years. For five and a half of these years he has worked 2-10, even though he is contracted to 6-2 2-10 alternating. Work have allowed him to do this to fit round my hours.
The bloke he works opposite has done the same for a year and a half but he works the earlier shift.
Now he has been told they will work their contracted hours from next week. I cant afford to come out of work and not sure where we would find childcare from 5.30 am fortnightly.
Everyone else is happy with things the way they are and all hours are covered the supervisor is just flexing his power we think.
Dh and his opposite will both have childcare issues if this comes about so what I would like to ask is firstly, do they have to give them some sort of notice to change their working hours even though the arrangement at the minute is informal and different to their written contract? Secondly, would it be worth taking this to HR to see if it could be resolved? Any suggestions would be brilliant as we are panicking and desperate now !

flowery Wed 09-Jan-13 19:37:19

If he's been working the same hours for 5.5 years, that is no longer informal, those are his contractual hours, and his employer needs his consent to vary them. It can get a bit more complicated but my point is that what was written on a bit of paper 6 years ago is not more significant that what has actually been the case for a consistent, significant period of time.

I would suggest he speaks to HR yes, and says he realises his contract originally said different but as he has worked these hours consistently for years, these are now his contractual hours and he is concerned his supervisor is trying to change them without consultation or his consent.

I imagine HR will make the supervisor rapidly back pedal given there is no business need for the change that your DH can see.

Rowgtfc72 Wed 09-Jan-13 20:07:55

Thanks. His boss has basically told them both this is what will happen and if you dont like it you can find another job as he has done them a favour for the last few years changing their hours. We dont want to rock the boat as this arrangement works for us all but can find no logical reason to this change. Ive told dh seeing HR isnt tecnically going over his bosses head as they are more a sideways shuffle ! But surely they are the people to sit down with to sort this rationally without ruffling feathers and getting peoples backs up. Also think it would be better if him and his mate do this together to show a united front. Thanks again for your help.

3littlefrogs Wed 09-Jan-13 20:11:26

Is it possible that this is a way to force your Dh and his colleague out of their jobs? Maybe to employ someone else at a cheaper rate or something?

3littlefrogs Wed 09-Jan-13 20:12:17

I think they should talk to their union.

Rowgtfc72 Wed 09-Jan-13 20:27:26

Noone will do the job. Dh has asked for a transfer and found a replacement but his supervisors seem to like playing people. This guy does this every year, tries to change the hours and usually backs down but seems more determined this year. Trying not to involve the union and keep it friendly for now but that would certainly be an option.

Rowgtfc72 Thu 10-Jan-13 18:12:13

Supervisor not backing down. Dh going to ring HR in the morning as they are not based at his site. His oppo has been given untill 23rd Feb to sort childcare. It all seems very unfair as I will have to leave a job I have done for eight yrs, Dh probably earns just too much to receive tax credits and finding another job to fit round Dhs job will be impossible. Hopefully HR will see sense or we will be royally screwed.

Rowgtfc72 Fri 11-Jan-13 18:02:16

Will update Tues after HR meeting. Wish us luck !

Rowgtfc72 Tue 15-Jan-13 16:04:01

Boss has back tracked in front of HR and said as long as DHs mate does the opposite 6-2 shift permanently then DH can do permanent 2-10. Unfortunately his mate is only willing to do this on a rotating shift so back to square one. DH going to try and see the union tomorrow. Still not looking great but at least the HR lady has given DH a week to consider this, I assume they will have to give him so many weeks notice of shift change as well.

flowery Tue 15-Jan-13 16:39:05

So the person who does the opposite shift has been doing it permanently for 18 months and is asking to change?

I don't see that as your DH's problem. I would suggest that he reiterates that those are his permanent terms and conditions and his colleague wanting to change his hours is neither his concern nor a good business reason for attempting to vary your DH's terms and conditions.

Hopefully the union will agree. It is possible for an employer to force through a change of terms and conditions but it involves proper consultation, reasonable notice and a good business reason for having to do so.

Rowgtfc72 Wed 16-Jan-13 16:35:30

Flowery, the other guy has done eight o clock starts for eighteen months. He doesnt want to do six o clock starts but started the new shifts this week.Therefore he will be early starts every other week but isnt willing to do it every week. He has childcare issues too but not to the extent we do so hes doing as the boss asks as he needs his job. The boss backtracking would say to me there is no business reason for this. Hopefully the union will be more helpful !

Rowgtfc72 Fri 18-Jan-13 22:01:26

The union have told dh there is a 90 day consultation period to change his hours. He has rung the HR lady today who says its only five weeks.DHs union man at work says shes wrong and is going to give hr lady a piece of his mind.Meeting again on Wednesday.

Rowgtfc72 Wed 23-Jan-13 16:34:20

Meeting went well. Dh put forward several suggestions to solve the problem. His boss went ballistic and said Dh should have told him first and saved the PR lady a wasted journey to which she replied it wasnt a problem .She also told the boss off everytime he interrupted DH ! Meeting tomorrow to try and sort shifts between them all but looking more optimistic. DH , thank god, for once kept his cool and didnt get ranty.

Sausagedog27 Thu 24-Jan-13 11:54:54

Good luck to your DH tomorrow op!

Rowgtfc72 Thu 24-Jan-13 19:09:09

Spoke to soon.Meeting didnt happen as boss already nobbled the other blokes before DH went into work and explained why they couldnt/didnt want to do the early shift. back to square one. Dh is setting up meeting with union. Have told him to ring the nice HR lady but he has said its not worth his breath as shes in the companys employ !

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