Changing working working hours with in my business

(15 Posts)
Ilovecolinjackson Tue 24-Sep-19 10:54:33

I need to change some staff hours in my business, they were employed over three years ago on specific hours. These hours suited them and us.
Now the business has changed a lot and their hours are not working at all. I have out lined the issue in a letter with a full reasons as to why changes need to be made and have opened up discussions in the first instance as to seek any suggestions from them and deal with any concerns in the first instance. I have also expressed that we are not intending go to the extreme with the change i.e number of hours stay the same but may be start and finish an hour or two later on the odd shift and to star sharing a bit of the week ends shifts based on the hours worked now to try and spread the shifts out and make everything fairer to all staff and work for the business.

It is proving almost impossible, they have offered one suggestion which is good and is a start but this is the only suggestion offered and every other suggestion my be has been knocked back and there is no flexibility anywhere else. I really dont feel that this one change will be enough, in fact it wont be.

The reasons given are very important to them, however, for many people they would be able to adapt with out to much difficulty as like i say the changes suggested are done with the intention of trying to keep their routine as close as possible to what they do now and to be honest I and many people I know have adapted these thinks in their life accordingly for work purposes and have managed to balance things out.

Is there anyone out their who has experienced anything similar who can offer suggestions, advice on line very vague and general. I would like to keep them and really want this to work out.

OP’s posts: |
flowery Tue 24-Sep-19 11:15:22

My best advice if you are a business owner wanting to change the terms and conditions of your staff is to seek proper professional advice from a local HR consultant specialising in small businesses, or from an employment lawyer. You should be able to find either of those either by asking for a recommendation (your accountant is often a good source) or with a google search.

Taking professional advice sometimes if part and parcel of being an employer.

BIWI Tue 24-Sep-19 11:17:44

Why are you wanting to change them? Is it really 'for the business' or is it for your benefit? And what changes are you wanting to implement? Difficult to comment without knowing more!

Ilovecolinjackson Tue 24-Sep-19 11:42:32

The business has shrunk in the sense that half of the services we did supply don't anyone. They were employed to cover one area whilst we worked the other. We all now work in the same area and their shifts mean we can't slot in to the shifts. the shifts could be spread to cover everyone, but if it says the same someone one of the above owners will have to basically take a huge pay cut.

Frustrating thing is that could be avoided.

Trying to avoid professional help yet still early days.

OP’s posts: |
DrIrisFenby Tue 24-Sep-19 11:47:32

Having been involved in small businesses myself, I have always thought that a small investment in professional help early on avoids a massive and costly mess later on particularly with HR issues where it is important for everyone to get it right. An internet forum, whilst it can give you suggestions and ideas, is no substitute for a qualified professional who knows the law and has experience.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 24-Sep-19 13:18:45

As @DrIrisFenby says a small amount of professional advice now is likely to cost you less than going to tribunal. As a small business owner I access HR help through my bank, the money it costs is small and their help invaluable.

flowery Tue 24-Sep-19 13:24:36

If you've been employing several staff for three years, it's absolutely not 'early days' to invest a small sum in professional advice, especially if you are looking to make significant terms and conditions changes.

Oh well. It'll cost more trying to be cheap and do it yourself, as you are placing your business at risk of possibly several legal claims and thousands of pounds of legal fees and enormous business disruption as a result, but up to you!

BIWI Tue 24-Sep-19 13:28:16

It sounds like you have too many staff then - and you would have to make one/some redundant. You definitely need to take advice about how to achieve that.

Nikhedonia Tue 24-Sep-19 13:32:08

Definitely seek legal advice or advice from a specialist HR consultant. Better to get it right from the off than get into sticky territory and then have to get a specialist in to unravel it all.

MarieG10 Tue 24-Sep-19 13:37:37

I agree with @flowery. You need expert either HR advice or employment legal advice.

Clearly doing by negotiation and agreement is easiest. However, a lot depends on what their existing contracts state and whether it is necessary to issue new contracts of employment to your staff. If you do so, it opens the options for them to claim constructive dismissal.

Ilovecolinjackson Tue 24-Sep-19 13:52:47

It's early days in the sense that we have just started to think about reorganising shift patterns, the business is well established.
I think I know where this will end up and it is clearer that we may well need the help to deal with this carefully as despite it being workable said employee just can't be flexible.
Thanks everyone one of those senarios where you can see the inevitable and just wish it didn't need to happen.
One of the downsides if being an employer I suppose..

OP’s posts: |
flowery Tue 24-Sep-19 14:03:30

It sounded from your OP as though you were a fair way along the process, rather than just starting to think about it?

Sounded like you’d started correspondence, had proposed some terms and conditions changes, were consulting with staff and were now at the stage of dealing with refusals.

Kaykay06 Tue 24-Sep-19 14:08:10

Some people just can’t be flexible, I would be very anxious and stressed if my employer just tried to get me to work more/different hours to what I’ve be contracted to do. People have responsibilities/kids etc that can’t always be changed. Take pp advice and get professional hr/legal advice.

BIWI Tue 24-Sep-19 14:45:38

But what are you asking them to do?! Sounds like your 'flexible' might be 'unreasonable' for your employee!

Taswama Tue 24-Sep-19 18:12:13

I agree getting some professional advice would be your best bet. You have to be vague here but won’t with them.

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