When and how contracts can be changed lawfully?

A contract between an employer and an employee or worker is a legally binding agreement. A contract can be agreed verbally or in writing. Any changes to the contract must be agreed by both the employer and employee or worker, or in some circumstances with a trade union or other employee representatives.

Can I refuse to change my contract?

If you want to make a change to your contract, speak to your employer and explain why. You can’t insist on making changes unless they’re covered by a legal right, for example, opting out of Sunday working or the 48-hour week. You might be able to apply to change your hours under flexible working rights.

Can employer change contract?

Under the common law, an employer is not permitted unilaterally to change the terms of an employment contract with an employee, and if it does so without agreement the employee would have the right to either abandon the contract or to sue for damages in terms of the contract.

What is the notice period for change of contract?

Providing a written statement of any contractual change

Although not all changes of contract need to be set out in writing, you must give written notification within one month of any changes that relate to the employee’s main terms and conditions, such as working hours or job location.

Can employees be dismissed for refusing to accept new terms and conditions of employment?

If they refuse to sign up to the new contractual terms they will be dismissed for Some Other Substantial Reason (SOSR). You must be able to rely on a sound business reason for this dismissal — that the needs of your business outweigh any disadvantage to the two employees.

What constitutes a change in working conditions?

Substantial change in working conditions means a material change that is significant in terms of amount, degree, or impact as opposed to a change that is relatively minor or trivial.

Can I change an employee’s hours of work?

An employer can change an employee’s working hours where there is no contractual clause authorising it to do so, but this would involve following a process for a formal variation of contract. The starting point would be for the employer to try to reach agreement with the employee.

How much notice must an employer give to change working hours?

According to an employment law expert, “An employer should give an employee who works an irregular shift pattern reasonable notice of their hours. Normally this would be included in the contract of employment and the standard notice period is around 7 days.”

How do I notify employer of change in availability?

Tell your boss exactly what has changed about your availability, whether it be a shift in your available hours or the need to take time off for a family emergency. Let your boss know exactly when the change will take effect and how long you expect it to last. Put it in writing.

Can I refuse to change my working hours?

They’re likely to ask, ”Can my employer reduce my hours without my consent?” You should make clear that, no, you can’t. Instead, they need to agree to the change. While this may seem daunting, staff may more willing to agree to it if the alternative is some of them losing their jobs entirely.

Do I need a new contract if my role changes?

A contract of employment is a legal agreement between the employer and the employee. Its terms cannot lawfully be changed by the employer without agreement from the employee (either individually or through a recognised trade union).

Can my employer change my job responsibilities?

In California, an employer may change an employee’s job description to add additional duties if the employee is hired at will. “At-will employment” means an employer can change an employee’s job duties, pay, title, hours, and more, and apply those changes to any future work.