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Help needed re Change in T+Cs/hours

(13 Posts)
notmyownname Mon 02-May-11 21:46:49

Sorry this may be long.

I work p/t, three days. Last year my workplace did a 90 day consultation and brought in a new set of rota patterns. They made a pattern for me as I have limited access to childcare at weekends and after hours.

The terms and conditions of the new pattern stated that full timers were expected to work up to 5 out of every 8 weekend shifts, pro rata for pt staff. 3 days a week = working 4 out of 8 shifts, eg equivalent of every other weekend. Quite a lot, but do-able.

New pattern was working fine. However as a whole, they had badly understaffed the weekends and evenings. They have now decided that everyone will work 5 out of 8 weekend shifts, even if they only work 15hrs a week.

This is a nightmare for me(and several colleagues, esp those who share residency of children every other weekend) I understood that contractual matters were robust, eg couldn't be changed without our agreement.

Can I do anything about it? I just cannot work what they are insisting I must work.

I can apply for a FWP but frankly I know it will be declined, they have just turned down a large batch as a group (although I understand they are meant to be considered on an individual basis)

goodbyemrschips Mon 02-May-11 21:56:43

I believe that any company [without seeing your contract though it is hard to say]

can give any employee 13 weeks notice and change their hours and days of work and it is basically tough.

Not what you want to hear but sadly true unless you have something in yuor contract saying they can't.

notmyownname Mon 02-May-11 22:29:09

I thought it was 90 days notice? Either way, I received a copy of my 'new rota' a week after it started, so no notice at all. No discussion.

13 weeks notice I could do something with. Like look for a new job probably.

Any mileage in it being discriminatory against the part timers, who are almost all female/with children? What with no formal childcare on weekends unless you have a willing and able DP or inundated with doting grandparents? <grasping at straws>

notmyownname Mon 02-May-11 22:32:22

<DUH> 13 weeks is about 90 days isn't it. Sorry, it's been a long day!!

goodbyemrschips Tue 03-May-11 07:49:13

Do you have a HR dept.

I am sure they have to give 13 weeks notice [which is 91 days .he he.]

Or ring ACAS.

floweryroyalweddingbouquet Tue 03-May-11 09:52:33

It's definitely not the case that as long as a company gives 13 weeks/90 days notice they can just change your terms and conditions and it's tough. And you don't need a specific clause in your contract saying they can't.

Your consent is needed to change your terms and conditions of employment. There are ways of forcing changes through, but just giving notice without any discussion/consultation isn't the way. They need to consult properly and ultimately if they can't get agreement they may need to terminate employment then re-employ on the new terms. If a change disproportionately has a negative impact on a protected group it may be indirect discrimination.

here about changing and here about if you don't give consent

What does your contract say about varying terms and conditions?

goodbyemrschips Tue 03-May-11 09:56:32

It is tough because is you don't agree they can sack you. This is stated in your link.

Yes there has to be a consultation period [90 days/13 weeks] but the employer has the upper hand all the way.

RibenaBerry Tue 03-May-11 09:57:33

I think that there is probably mileage in the discrimination argument. I wouldn't focus so much on the ability to change terms and conditions per se. There are technical arguments there, in that employers should consult with employees and have good business reasons for implementing changes to terms (although, if they've had shortages for weekend shifts, they may have good business reasons). They don't seem to have done the correct consultation (although there's no specific 90 day/13 week rule).

However, on the discrimination side, I think that potentially there's a big issue. Part timers are entitled to be treated no less favourably than full timers in comparable positions. By changing the rules in a way that only negatively affects part time employees, they are on dangerous ground. This can also be spun into a sex discrimination argument in the way you described. I would suggest ringing ACAS and maybe looking into putting in a grievance about the changes.

notmyownname Tue 03-May-11 20:59:37

Thank you so much.

You are right in that they do have a good reason to bring in the changes, but mostly to sort out the mess they made TBH.

We do have HR dept. They are rubbish not terribly helpful.

From my point of view, we didn't really want the changes last year but it was done properly, and the outcome was ok. But we had plenty of notice, there was negiotation, etc.

This is incredibly frustrating because they have just changed how many weekend days we have to work and basically told us we have to do it.

I only work very PT, approx 0.55WTE, not because I want to earn less money but because it means I can spend time with my children ( 2 under 5, eldest starts school this time), in effect I would spent a much larger proportion of my working week working weekend shifts than a full timer doing the same role.

Lotkinsgonecurly Wed 18-May-11 11:38:43

notmyownname - How's it going? I've just read your thread with great interest as the same thing has basically happened to me yesterday. What has happened, did you pursue this?

BerylStreep Wed 18-May-11 12:25:41

OP - can't add anything, but just wanted to post that I have been in a similar situation, which is currently in a bit of a mexican stand off. I will watch this thread with interest.

I agree that this sounds potentially discriminatory. My favourite piece of legislation to quote these days is the Part-time Workers (prevention of less favourable treatment) Regs, if that helps.

notmyownname Mon 06-Jun-11 13:36:36

Just a quick update - I offered them a compromise which was turned down flat. I spoke to ACAS as well just to make sure I had understood the employment law side correctly before I went steaming in.

I then submitted a grievance for breach of contract. With lots of emails showing I have been trying to be flexible etc and they have not been responding.

I was then asked to offer a compromise (offered them the same againgrin ) and I am waiting to hear if it is accepted- but generally speaking, they have realised that they cannot enforce these changes without out agreement.

I have been asked if I still want to continue with the grievance, I said that if we reach agreement on the working hours I will drop it if I receive an written apology.

Oh and I am jobhunting, of coursesmile

BerylStreep Tue 07-Jun-11 16:13:40

NMON - good for you sticking by your guns. Out of interest, what was the compromise you offered?

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