Business restructuring - can employment contract terms be changed

(2 Posts)
itsboiledeggsagain Tue 02-Oct-18 18:23:28

As I understand it, yes it is legal. They must follow a process however which must include consultation.

EmploymentLawAdviceNeeded Tue 02-Oct-18 18:21:40

I am employed by a smallish business which says it needs to restructure to release funds for its core business. It primarily wants to restructure our department, which admittedly is overstaffed by comparison with similar businesses. They therefore want to change our contract so that we work for fewer hours per week, but say that would be compensated by payment to cover loss of earnings for the first year and a better bonus/incentive scheme. Some of us would also have the chance to work an extra day per week in another department which would partly make up for the shortfall in the longer terms.

Could anyone out there tell me what the legal position on this is? Can our employers change our contract terms without our agreement? If so, are those terms reasonable? They have said that if we refuse to accept the new contracts then the old ones would come to an end on a defined date and our employment would come to an end. Is that correct, and if that happens would it be unfair dismissal? We don't want to get into a fight with them, nor do we want to push them into the position where they might, for instance, close our department completely - but on the other hand we don't want to agree to a big change if the firm isn't entitled to impose it on us.

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