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Contract sent to me whilst on mat leave - different hours and pay to what I was working before

(5 Posts)
deckchair Thu 26-Jun-08 17:11:31

Am on mat leave until the end of July. 2 weeks ago I was sent a new contract (in fact, it's the only contract I have ever had now I think about it)
In the contract it mentioned 22.5 hours per week to be arranged. I have worked there since March last year and have done a minimum of 16 hours every week since starting until going on my mat leave in October. I have always worked the same 2 days and then I did another 4 hours every other week or third week. I have worked an average of 18 hours each week.
I emailed my boss and said I couldn't commit to doing 22.5 hours per week and the most I would be able to manage would be 18.
The pay level was also wrong so I mentioned that too and asked him to clarify my hourly rate. When he replied he said that I had worked an average of 22.5 hours per week and was just going on that and the pay was a figure that could be adjusted. Didn't clarify my rate and said we could discuss it next time I go in. This will probably be next week now.

In an ideal world I would like to work 16 hours and the other 2 hours at home (I have been working from home a little for them whilst I have been on mat leave - so the precedent has been set in a way - although I know the needs of the business etc...)
Can anyone give me advice on how to handle my "meeting"
Btw, it's a small business (12 employees) and I had to point them in the direction of various websites etc when it came to how much time off I was "allowed" for my mat leave.
thanks in advance

flowerybeanbag Thu 26-Jun-08 20:13:29

deckchair it is illegal for you not to have a contract or at least a written statement with various contractual things in it.

However even though you were not provided with a contract your employer can't just change the terms of your employment just like that. If he needs to do so for business reasons there are hoops he must jump through legally. He would be unwise to try to do so while you are on mat leave or returning from mat leave.

It doesn't sound like he was horrified by your response, so it may not be a tricky meeting at all. I would go in with all your facts and figures about what you have been doing before, average hours, confirmation of hourly rate, all that, and take it from there. It may not be that difficult at all. If he wants to vary your contract and increase the hours, you can refuse. Put forward your 18 hours plan with 2 at home and see what he says. If necessary you can put in a formal flexible working request.

(Cheeky plug; if you are pointing him in the direction of websites, you may want to point him at mine as well...sounds like he needs me!) grin

deckchair Thu 26-Jun-08 20:39:22

Thanks FBB.
Would I need to give reasons why I wont / cant change my hours?

Have saved your website, will recommend if the need arises.


flowerybeanbag Thu 26-Jun-08 20:42:48

No you wouldn't have to give reasons for refusing to increase your hours. Hang on I'll find you a link.

Here you go directgov all about changes to employment conditions, and here about what to do if you don't accept the changes.

Read up and be prepared with your facts and see how you get on. If it doesn't go well, then consider getting a bit more formal, and do come back if you need to.

deckchair Tue 15-Jul-08 15:14:04

An update for FBB. Thks for the links.
Have been into work, but no-one was available to discuss... So I have decided to wait until I go back (in 2 weeks) and see what we can agree on.
Watch this space - may be back again!

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