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Can work change my contract?

(12 Posts)
biscuitsmustbedunkedintea Tue 08-Jul-08 15:42:22

I work part-time and have been in position for nearly 3 years.

Have been informed today that the over time rate on my contract, with regard to Bank Holidays, is an error and therefore I will get a new contract. I have many questions about this

Do I have to accept the new contract?

Should they give me notice that my contract is changing?

What if they alter the wording? At the mo I don't have to work a BH, but the other girl who works the other half of the week to me, does have to. What if my new contract states I have to too?

ARGH! Am joining the Union asap btw

Freckle Tue 08-Jul-08 16:14:30

Neither party to a contract can change the terms without the consent of the other. If you have been paid this o/t rate for the past 3 years, I would seriously doubt if it was an error. Sounds like they are trying to change your terms unilaterally which they cannot do. I would contest it vigorously.

flowerybeanbag Tue 08-Jul-08 16:15:57

biscuits have you been working some bank holidays on the old overtime rate already? What actual difference will this make to you?

See here about what happens if you don't agree to a proposed change to your contract.

As you can see, you have the right to refuse, and there are some hoops your employer has to jump through if they feel they must force it through, including terminating your employment and reemploying you.

biscuitsmustbedunkedintea Tue 08-Jul-08 16:30:13

Thanks for that link - very helpful.

Yes previously I have done an odd BH, at double time and time off in lieu. The new rate, as I am p/t, is straight time.

flowerybeanbag Tue 08-Jul-08 19:16:15

When you say you have been told the rate on your contract is an error, is it just your contract, and everyone elses currently says straight time, or is it loads of you? Just trying to ascertain how reasonable it is of them to want to change this.

Doesn't make it acceptable necessarily, or impact on your right to refuse, but helps give an overall impression and indicate what they are trying to do.

biscuitsmustbedunkedintea Tue 08-Jul-08 20:12:14

It's all part-timers. However the people's contracts who are going to be altered are those of us who work "out of hours", so 4 of us. I believe that other part timers have it worded that their over time rate is in accordance with blah de blah, whereas us out of hours group have it actually stated we will be paid double time and time off in lieu.

flowerybeanbag Tue 08-Jul-08 20:29:10

I think all this talk of it being an 'error' is a bit hmm. If there is a group of you and your contract has said that for 3 years, and they have met that term of your contract, I don't feel it's correct to say it's an 'error'. It's a change they want to make to terms and conditions, not correcting an error. I think by saying that they are trying to make it sound insignificant.

You mention you are joining the union - is the union recogised by your employer? Otherwise they might not be able to help you much. What are the other 3 people affected doing? Having a united front is a good idea if you can.

biscuitsmustbedunkedintea Tue 08-Jul-08 23:11:50

They changed the overtime rates for all p/t staff approx 4 yrs ago, at the time I was f/t so tbh didn't take much notice of the actual rates as it were. My contract is an awkward one as I don't work the same number of hours every week all year. I think because it took them so long to write the contract orignally (4/5yrs ago) they don't check it everytime someone new gets an out of hours job, they just alter the basics ie name and days worked. One of my colleagues left shortly after working a BH, and it was in sorting out how much leave she had left, this issue came up that the wrong rate was quoted in our contracts.

Out of the 4 of us, I've been there the longest, so therefore am the one who is more likely to "make a fuss". My immediate boss will support me if do something. The union are recognised by my employer and are quite prominant. They too are also very helpful, hence why I will join them asap.

At the mo, still waiting to get the new contract. As soon as I get that I can act on it.

elkiedee Tue 08-Jul-08 23:39:01

Good idea to join the union. Are the other 3 affected union members? If not, encourage them to join too and the union can represent you as a group.

elkiedee Tue 08-Jul-08 23:45:17

And join now. There may be issues about your length of membership and representation, for example in Unison which represents lots of library workers. Usually my branch and others I know of will do their best to help people who join, but often we could do a lot better if people join in the first place. Our recognition and the time reps get off work to help people depends on membership levels - it also helps to make employers think twice about trying to change conditions and cut pay (that's what they're doing) and lying about it, if they know staff and their union will stand up to them.

biscuitsmustbedunkedintea Tue 15-Jul-08 21:25:19

Just wanted to "finish" this. I have heard today that my contract is not going to be altered. Apparently it's all to do with the fact that I don't have to do a BH, therefore they cannot change the overtime rate for it. Hooray!

So thanks all that offered wisdom/help/web pages smile

flowerybeanbag Wed 16-Jul-08 09:46:01

Excellent news biscuits! Not sure about the reason given but you've got the right result anyway.

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