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Can my employer increase hours without increasing pay?

(19 Posts)
cinnamonbun Wed 07-Aug-13 19:38:45

Today I got an email from a boss based in the States (I work in one of the UK branches) who announced that as from next month, the people in my team will be required to work 40 hours a week. In the UK everyone currently works 35 hours/week, as per our contracts. It says in the email that our salaries will not be increased. We've had absolutely no consultation about this! Can they really do this? I have one child, with another on the way and this will obviously have a huge impact on childcare arrangements etc.

Really hope someone can help shed some light on this!

spacegirl81 Wed 07-Aug-13 19:45:42

This doesn't sound right to me. Have a look on the Acas website and give them a call; they will be able to help and advise you.

ihearsounds Wed 07-Aug-13 19:53:28

Doesn't the working time regulations say something about working 38 hours a week, unless you choose to opt out?

To change the times, the employer has to state the reasons why and how this benefits everyone.

Then adding on an extra 5 hours a week, would this put you under minimum wage?

tribpot Wed 07-Aug-13 20:06:10

Some basic guidance to get you started here.

I don't think the working time directive applies this stipulates a maximum of 48 hours per week.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 07-Aug-13 20:47:35

Working time regulations are 48 hours per week.

cinnamonbun Wed 07-Aug-13 20:53:12

But even though the working time regulations are 48 hours/week, is it legal for my employer to change the terms of my contract (I'm on a permanent contract)

a) without consulting me
b) with just one month's notice and
c) without offering extra pay although my hours increase by almost 15%?

RegainingUnconsciousness Wed 07-Aug-13 20:56:16

If you're a teacher, then probably.

Anyone else, ... No idea.

flowery Wed 07-Aug-13 22:04:21

No they can't. I expect the US office have very little idea of the restrictions placed upon them by UK employment law, which are much more onerous than those in the US and sometimes come as a shock to US companies with branches here.

izzybizzybuzzybees Wed 07-Aug-13 22:06:54

They did in the NHS. When AFC was implemented we all moved from 53 hrs to 37.5 with no increase in pay.

izzybizzybuzzybees Wed 07-Aug-13 22:07:10

Oops typo 35 hours not 53!

Viviennemary Wed 07-Aug-13 22:09:52

Unfortunately I think these days they seem to get away with a lot. Changing people's contracts and so on without proper consultation and agreement. Are you in a union.

gallicgirl Wed 07-Aug-13 22:13:02

I always thought that any change in terms and conditions required 90 days notice.

flowery Wed 07-Aug-13 22:18:01

Izzybizzy I imagine that NHS change involved significant and lengthy consultation including with unions, rather than just an email saying this is happening.

cinnamonbun Wed 07-Aug-13 22:37:14

Thanks everyone. I am a member of a union so will give them a call tomorrow. This is really stressing me out! There are no nurseries near where I live that are open long enough to accommodate these increased hours. Plus the idea of working another 5 hours a week for FREE really pisses me off!

gallicgirl Wed 07-Aug-13 23:08:33

Get your colleagues involved too. The more people there are saying "no" the better.

EBearhug Wed 07-Aug-13 23:54:28

^ I expect the US office have very little idea of the restrictions placed upon them by UK employment law, which are much more onerous than those in the US and sometimes come as a shock to US companies with branches here.^

Totally agree with that - and we're comparatively lax in the UK compared with quite a lot of the mainland European countries.

I hope the union is helpful to you (I'm sure they will be), and do get your colleagues involved.

nextphase Thu 08-Aug-13 09:26:24

What are you going to be doing in these extra hours?
Or is it going to be a case of getting 7 of you to work an extra 5 hrs/week, and then loose the 8th person, as there isn't enough work?

Tread carfully, stick together as an office, and ring ACAS or the union.

cinnamonbun Thu 08-Aug-13 16:44:03

All is good: I just received an email that says the changes only apply to US workers. Phew! grin

tribpot Thu 08-Aug-13 19:18:06

Phew for you, but poor bloody US workers sad Don't they get about 4 hours holiday per year as well?

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