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AIBU to think work can't make me change my working hours?

(28 Posts)
Joolsy Thu 05-Jan-17 16:19:13

I work as a TA in a college. My working hours are 9.30-2.30, 3 days a week. They've been the same for the 8 years I've worked there. I've now been told that, as classes start at 9am (always have), me starting at 9.30 no longer works as they need me there for the whole of the lesson, so they're suggesting I either start at 9am (which means paying for breakfast club at school) or 10.30 (which means I have to work till 3.30 and use the after school club which isn't cheap). They have also stopped me taking a lunch break as I don't work enough hours to be entitled to one (I work 5 - the minimum is 6). That would mean I probably wouldn't get to eat during my working day as I can't really sit at a desk and work whilst eating a sandwich as most of my day is spent in class. I need to eat regularly or I get the shakes. Can they make me change my hours?

JennyOnAPlate Thu 05-Jan-17 16:21:33

Is 9.30-2.30 actually stated on your contract?

PotteringAlong Thu 05-Jan-17 16:21:53

Yes. Unless your contract specifically states your hours, it will have some clause in it that means they can.

Joolsy Thu 05-Jan-17 16:22:01

Yes it is

hanban89 Thu 05-Jan-17 16:22:16

I thought you had to have a 15 minute break if you worked over 4 hours? If they are suggesting you start at 9 do you get away at 2? Wonder why it's worked for 8 years and suddenly they decide it needs changed! How frustrating!

DailyFail1 Thu 05-Jan-17 16:23:01

If your working hours were contracted then I believe they have to make you redundant if they now require a TA to start at 9. I'm not sure. You should discuss with your HR dept.

JennyOnAPlate Thu 05-Jan-17 16:23:03

They can't change your hours under your current contract then (unless there's something in the small print). They can issue you with a new contract and get around it that way though.

ineedamoreadultieradult Thu 05-Jan-17 16:23:04

What does your contract say re working hours? Unless you have medical evidence you have to eat regularly then they don't need to provide you with a break.

SocksRock Thu 05-Jan-17 16:23:09

I think they can if they give you enough notice. My work has changed all sorts over the years and as long as they give 60 days notice it seems to be legal. The needs of the business have changed, so they are changing your role.

brasty Thu 05-Jan-17 16:24:19

Yes they can change it. But they may have to offer you redundancy if you don't accept the change. Ask your union or ACAS if you are not in a union.

Hissy Thu 05-Jan-17 16:26:06

I work from 8.30am to 2.45

Choose not to have lunch as I want to have that extra hour paid.

I'd suggest you contact a union or the cab for proper advice. Have you googled part time working laws and regulations?

PotteringAlong Thu 05-Jan-17 16:27:40

If it's stated on the contract then they can offer you a change of hours with enough notice. You can accept or, if not, they can make you redundant.

Recentlylazy Thu 05-Jan-17 16:28:32

If it's in your contract then they cannot change it immediately. However they can give you (I think 13 weeks) notice to vary the contact and you either accept or not. If you don't accept the variation, you will be deemed to have resigned. Can you speak to a senior person, preferable with HR responsibilities even if a member of the teaching staff? Work out which option is least pain for you, then negotiate with the school. Much better than pushing them into a corner which might result in the worst solution to you.

Rowgtfc72 Thu 05-Jan-17 16:53:25

They can change your hours but have to give you reasonable notice. It may be sixty days,or thirty, can't remember which.
Dh had this done to him. It affected childcare and i ended up leaving the job id had for eight years to cover the new arrangements as dh was the higher earner. So long as they give you the proper consultation period I'm afraid you don't have a leg to stand on.

EveOnline2016 Thu 05-Jan-17 16:57:13

I was in this position 2 years ago.

I had 13 weeks to give my employer my answer, which I did change to what they needed me for.

If your job doesn't exist anymore for them they can make you redundant.

This was NHS.

ceecee32 Thu 05-Jan-17 17:43:08

I work for the government - they have changed our working hours by giving 3 months notice to change of contract.
So, I would imagine that there is no requirement to make you redundant - they can just change your hours.

Lostpangolin Thu 05-Jan-17 17:46:50

From memory, you are entitled to a 20 minute break after 6 hours work.

Davros Thu 05-Jan-17 17:56:01

Isn't it Constructive Dismissal if they change your hours to ones you can't do?

cathf Thu 05-Jan-17 17:57:33

Not it you get enough notice, Davros

alibongo5 Thu 05-Jan-17 18:02:35


You're right - from the site "Rest breaks at work
Workers have the right to one uninterrupted 20 minute rest break during their working day, if they work more than 6 hours a day. This could be a tea or lunch break. The break doesn’t have to be paid - it depends on their employment contract."

Goje Thu 05-Jan-17 18:05:56

as most of my day is spent in class

Even when the students go on their lunch break, you can't just eat a cereal bar then?

LittleReindeerwithcloggson Thu 05-Jan-17 18:13:37

You need to read your contract. The majority of contracts have a flexibility clause allowing change of hours for business needs. If this is the case they are not changing your contract by changing your hours but are simply enforcing a clause already in your contract which they are legally entitled to do. If this is the case the notice they give you should depend on their and your circumstances but is usually between 2-6 weeks. If they give you notice and you don't accept the change it is not redundancy. Either you are considered to have resigned or are in breach of contract and dismissed.

RebootYourEngine Thu 05-Jan-17 18:24:32

What do you do when students are on their lunch break?

Welshrainbow Thu 05-Jan-17 18:52:16

Yes they can do it but as others have said they have to give you notice.
Out of interest if you start after the lesson has started do you go into the first lesson part way through or do you use the rest of that lesson as admin time for photocopying specialist resources etc?

haveacupoftea Thu 05-Jan-17 18:58:08

Yes they can change your hours if business needs require them to.

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