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Change of Hourly rate

(9 Posts)
runragged Tue 11-Nov-03 19:17:14

Hi There, I haven't been on for a while - had to wean myself off mumsnet as it is far too addictive! but now I find myself with a couple queries and I thought - "Where better to go than that fabulous lot at mumsnet!"

Firstly my friend works for Oxford Universtiy and was paid the same hourly rate for 4 years, earlier in the year there was talk of cutting that rate by 50p per hour. As he doesn't check his payslip (just looks at the bottom line!) he didn't realise that they had actually cut his rate, when I was helping him sort out his holidays - yes another big mess - I noticed this rate cut.

I'm pretty sure they can't do this without putting him into some kind of consultation, he hasn't had any letters or anything. Does anyone know if they can do this and is it worth taking it up with HR?

(Other question about tax so will start another thread!)

princesspeahead Tue 11-Nov-03 19:22:21

Breach of contract (assuming he has a contract) and possibly constructive dismissal depending on whether 50p is material or not (it is if he is being paid £6ph, it probably isn't if he is being paid £80 per hour).

But make sure that when there was "some talk of it" he wasn't informed in some way and impliedly consented to the cut. If he really doesn't remember anything about it then it sounds like he wasn't properly informed.

Certainly worth taking it up with HR and giving them a hard time. Musing openly about breach of contract generally produces results. He should be deciding if he wants to work for that rate, and if so (ie doesn't want to risk losing the job) he should at the very least get his pay backdated at the full rate up to the date he agrees to be paid the lower rate with HR...

runragged Tue 11-Nov-03 19:37:33

He does have a contract and it has his rate on it. Wouldn't any change have to be in writing as it is a change in the contract? And if they told him verbally would it have to be properly or is just in passing okay?

princesspeahead Tue 11-Nov-03 19:44:10

i'm a bit confused with your two threads. he doesn't have an employment contract if he is self employed (therefore he can't be constructively dismissed as he isn't in their employment.) he may well have a contract setting out his terms of business. my question (on the other thread) is - has he been invoicing the full amount but they have been underpaying? in which case he has a debt claim. or has he been invoicing at the lower rate (which begs the question - why?!), in which case it is very difficult for him to argue that he didn't "know" that the rate had changed -they would say that there was an oral change of the contract and the evidence of billing at the lower rate would back this up. therefore he would probably be buggered, certainly in respect of work already done.
this doesn't stop him from telling them that as from [date] his rate is going to be at the higher rate of £x, not the lower rate that they have set, and seeing if they take it.
risk of course is that they stop using him.

he sounds a bit crap at running his business if you don't mind me saying!!!

runragged Tue 11-Nov-03 19:55:09

Princesspeahead you do not have to tell me! I mean who doesn't check their wages?! However my dh is the same used to drive me mad when he had a job!

He works for Oxford University, has a bona fide contract and has had his rate cut.

He is also self employed as his other boss doesn't want him to be an employee, this is the one that was supposed to be paying the PAYE and NI. He doesn't short pay him which is what I understand happens with a CIS6. I thought you were responsible for your own affairs and so I did suspect that he was f****d! Just though I would ask!

(But just to give you another example of how crap the duty officers were before I arrived - they weren't even given holiday and didn't know they were entitled and so never took it)

princesspeahead Tue 11-Nov-03 22:19:57

oooooh, he has TWO employers, one with an employment contract (presum part time) who has underpaid him, and one on a self employed basis who hasn't paid his tax?


bloody hell. pour the man a stiff drink!

runragged Tue 11-Nov-03 22:28:47

pph, he is bringing all his stuff into work tomorrow for me to look at, at least I can be rational, he just buries his head in the sand. For some reason he values my opinion(!)

I don't think a drink is ging to help him, perhaps a big bar of chocolate.

princesspeahead Tue 11-Nov-03 22:36:58

well lucky him to have you to sort him out. I think YOU should get the chocolate!

runragged Tue 11-Nov-03 22:44:09

Thanks pph, well time to actually do some work and chuck these people out of here. Nice to be back on mumsnet actually, it seems the addiction is still there.

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