Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder steven3367 Novitiate

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    Default change in shift patterns

    been working for same company for years 12 hour shifts we work 5 12 hour shifts 1 week the 2 the next eg sat sun mon off tue wed in thur fri off then the next week the other way round the company now wants to change our shifts to 8 hours this means that at the end of the month we will owe them 16 hours that they can then make us come in and cover shifts when we are off and it will get rid off overtime. can they do this.

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  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder bazak1 Novitiate bazak1's Avatar

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    Default Re: change in shift patterns

    If a company wants to change your hours etc, then they are changing your contract of employment. Usually they will discuss this with you, because it's not good practice to change it without doing this first.
    Does your company have a union, and if so what are their comments on this change ?

    Please note that although my advice is offered, you should consult your legal representative before taking ANY action.


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  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder steven3367 Novitiate

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    Default Re: change in shift patterns

    we are in the gmb and have been told basiclly they are not intrested and dont want to be involved they are now on about shutting part of the production down which will involve payoffs but we think its basically a threat to scare us into accepting there shift changes


  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder Southern Area NNC Novitiate

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    Default Re: change in shift patterns

    Quote Originally Posted by steven3367 View Post
    we are in the gmb and have been told basiclly they are not intrested and dont want to be involved they are now on about shutting part of the production down which will involve payoffs but we think its basically a threat to scare us into accepting there shift changes
    You state that you are a member of the GMB? In that case then I find the attitude of the individual who informed you that they weren't interested totally unacceptable. They have an obligation to get involved in issues relating to their paying members. Who was this individual, was it a local rep employed by your firm or was it a Regional Officer of that union? if it was a local rep, shop steward then you or somebody else need to convene a meeting of all the membership with a view of informing that rep that his attitude is unacceptable and he either changes his views or he resigns. Notify your Regional Office if this is the situation, they should send a Regional Officer to assist if the loacl rep is not fulfulling his duties.

    If the bad attitude came from a Regional Officer in the first instance then I suggest you contact your Regional Office and explain the problems you are having at work. Make sure you tell them of the bad attitude you encountered and state that you wish to make an official complaint against the officer as you and your colleagues are the ones paying his wages.

    Regarding your shift change. A lot depends on what is said in your contract of employment. Some firms actually state that they can give you x amount of notification to change your shifts. Without going into too much detail on here you really need to involve the Regional Officer of your Union, if they are reluctant to get involved then contact the Union HQ and make plenty of noise in the direction of the General Secretary. Other than that join Unite, formerly T&GWU and Amicus.


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    Basic Account Holder bazak1 Novitiate bazak1's Avatar

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    Default Re: change in shift patterns

    I agree totally with Southern area .
    A union rep, that doesnt want to help his/her workmates, is a bit useless as a rep really. I would cetainly follow the advice and inform the regional office.

    Please note that although my advice is offered, you should consult your legal representative before taking ANY action.


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  6. #6
    Basic Account Holder Southern Area NNC Novitiate

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    Default Re: change in shift patterns

    Quote Originally Posted by bazak1 View Post
    I agree totally with steven.
    A union rep, that doesnt want to help his/her workmates, is a bit useless as a rep really. I would cetainly follow the advice and inform the regional office.
    Over the years I have come across so many reps who start the job with good intent but as time goes by you listen to them in meetings and it dawns on you that they have their own agendas. Perhaps the individual in Steven's case is one of these in the workplace which in one respect isn't good but if if happens to be a Regional Officer then the GMB has got serious problems.


  7. #7
    Basic Account Holder bazak1 Novitiate bazak1's Avatar

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    Default Re: change in shift patterns

    Very true. ( apologies on my last post where i stated i agreed with Steven. I actually meant i agreed with Southern area, and the regional office should be contacted. i have now edited the post).
    Some reps do have the best intentions, but i think sometimes they must feel like they are banging their heads on brick walls and ever so slightly give up.

    Please note that although my advice is offered, you should consult your legal representative before taking ANY action.


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  8. #8
    Basic Account Holder steven3367 Novitiate

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    Default Re: change in shift patterns

    we had a meeting on mon with the manager who basically told us it was up to him not us if he changes the contract it is in the contract that he can change with prior notice the union has now ****ed him off and he is taking it out on us he said he runs the plant not us and if we dont like it we can leave
    and be out off a job the new shifts are coming in on dec 1st if we wish to take on more work with less people we can keep the shift pattern we are on if not he will change it to 8 hr shifts which means we will work an extra 23 days a year. he has also paid off the company doctor and the new doctor happens to be the plant managers wife. he has also sackedicon 8 workers with poor sickness and sacked another for gross misconduct all in the last few weeks. the union is basiclly powerless and hes hinted this is all because we wouldnt accept the shift pattern he wanted and we stood up to him


  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder Southern Area NNC Novitiate

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    Default Re: change in shift patterns

    Quote Originally Posted by steven3367 View Post
    we had a meeting on mon with the manager who basically told us it was up to him not us if he changes the contract it is in the contract that he can change with prior notice the union has now ****ed him off and he is taking it out on us he said he runs the plant not us and if we dont like it we can leave
    and be out off a job the new shifts are coming in on dec 1st if we wish to take on more work with less people we can keep the shift pattern we are on if not he will change it to 8 hr shifts which means we will work an extra 23 days a year. he has also paid off the company doctor and the new doctor happens to be the plant managers wife. he has also sacked 8 workers with poor sickness and sacked another for gross misconduct all in the last few weeks. the union is basiclly powerless and hes hinted this is all because we wouldnt accept the shift pattern he wanted and we stood up to him
    Unfortunately it is not up to him if he wants to change your contracts whenever he feels like it. Firstly he has to consult with the Union and give reasons, timescales etc. If he changes your contracts and the result of it is that you will have to work an extra 23 days per year, I presume this would be without extra pay for those days? If this is the case then that constitutes a "worsening of your terms & conditions" which an employer cannot legally force on you and the Union can opppose this in negotiations.

    When you say the Union ****** him off, who actually was this? If it was a rep / shop steward who is also employed by your company then you really need to get your Regional Officer involved immediately.

    You state that the shift change is coming into effect from 1st December. Has the manager been informed of a formal "failure to agree" regarding this decision? The way to do this is in writing as should be stated in your Disputes & grievanceicon Procedure. Once this has been done at what would normally be Stage 1 of the procedure, the company cannot move from the "status quo", the way your shifts are at present until this procedure has been fully exhausted which is normally at Stage 4 which involves senior managers and a National Officer of your Union. If no resolution at Stage 4 then you have the option to take the case to ACAS, who will make a decision which right or wrong you will have to abide by.

    Regarding the dismissals he has undertaken over the last few weeks, again if he has not followed proper legal procedures he can be taken to an Industrial Tribunal by the individuals and / or the Union. There are strict guidelines that an employer has to comply with before dismissing any person.

    If you feel that the Union is powerless, firstly let me remind you that you and the other members in your workplace are the union. I understand that you feel this is too big a mountain to climb on your own though and that is why you really do need to contact your Regional Officer without delay. As I stated previously, if this is the person who doesn't really seem to be representing you then take this higher within the GMB. Contact your Regional Secretary and the General Secretary and demand proper representation, you're paying their wages! Do this immediately though before your manager does anything else.

    Final questions, is it this guys company or does he have someone to answer to? Does he actually recognise the Union in your workplace?

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  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder Jimbo44 Highly informative Jimbo44 Highly informative Jimbo44 Highly informative Jimbo44 Highly informative Jimbo44 Highly informative Jimbo44 Highly informative Jimbo44's Avatar

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    Default Re: change in shift patterns

    Hi! Sorry to read of your problems at work.

    I can't add to, or disagree with, what's been said about the attitude of the GMB in all this and the advice you've been given already about what to do union-wise is good and sound advice.

    As far as your contract is concerned the employer cannot change your Contract of Employment without your consent except in very special circumstances and the "take it or leave the company" attitude of your manager is wrong. It could be that, in saying what he has, it amounts to constructive dismissalicon and I would strongly advise that you make a note of the time/date of such remarks!

    Have a look at the direct.gov.uk website uner Employment and you will get some good idea of how to proceed from that. Also, this website for what used to be the DTi will explain what an employer can and cannot do and how to proceed in cases such as this:

    Contracts of employment: changes, breach of contract and deductions from wages - BERR

    The above are both Government websites, so completely impartial.

    Southern Area NNC, in a previous post, suggested you change to another union and this is sound advice. It would be better if all your colleagues did so at the same time as by doing so the GMB would receive a proverbial "kick up the corporate b******e".

    Jimbo 44 - always happy to help, but always willing to learn from being corrected too!!! Whilst any advice given may be based upon personal experience, please always be sure you seek guidance from a professional in the particular field.

    Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark, but a large group of professionals built the Titanic.


    A 'click' on the scales is always appreciated if I have helped. Many Thanks!
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  11. #11
    Basic Account Holder steven3367 Novitiate

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    Default Re: change in shift patterns

    they have now reduced production due to the current ecomonic climate and say they are no forced redundancys, it looks like we now have to accept the shifts like it or not the men from the part of the plant shut down is being redeployed as a buffer team so it also gets rid of overtime. thanks for all your advice.



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