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Employed for 7 years, no contract, new manager wants to change job roles and reduce hours

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Hello all.

 

This one is for a relative, I'll give you a bit of history. She has worked as a secretary for 7 years, always doing the same jobs, she has never received a contract and now a new manager has come in and started to shake things up a bit. Another secretary left about a year ago who didn't get replaced and another one who only worked there for about eight months has gone on maternity leave (she had no work contract and is also a relative). Roughly 2 months ago, due to the huge amounts of work, this manager asked my relative to do extra hours, she now does an extra 16.5 hours a week, he announced yesterday that he has taken on another staff member full time after phoning the lady on maternity leave and telling her he didn't want her back (don't think she has any rights does she? No contract and 8 months employment) as she only wanted to do 2 days a week. My relative pointed out that there was not enough work for that many hours and he told her that there would be as he will be reducing my relatives' hours back to what they originally were.

 

My question is, as the relative thought that the changes in hours were permanent, and the manager led her to believe this, do her extended working hours now form part of her contract?

 

Another question is, he also told her that she will have to do reception duties as well as secretarial duties although this is a completely seperate role, she cannot refer to her contract as she does not have one, but having done the same duties for 7 years, can it be assumed that these are her duties and the other role would be unacceptable?

 

I also understand that if he were to issue her with a contract, he couldn't add on extra duties to those that she already does without her agreement, is this right?

 

Could anyone link me to the correct sections in employment law for her to show him?

 

Many thanks as always, what a wonderful website this is :)


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I've had a quick look through the Employment Rights Act Employment Rights Act 1996 (c. 18), but unfortunately it doesn't shed much light on the above.


PLEASE DONATE ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN

 

 

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

George Bernard Shaw

 

 

 

 

Go on, click me scales (if I have helped) :grin:

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Anyone any pointers on this? I have a feeling that when she goes in work today he will try and reduce her hours immediately as the new person starts today.

 

Having talked this through a bit more with her, it may also be of interest that retirement is only 3 years off?

 

Help much appreciated.


PLEASE DONATE ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN

 

 

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

George Bernard Shaw

 

 

 

 

Go on, click me scales (if I have helped) :grin:

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If she doesn't mention it she will quite likely be see to have accepted the new terms.

 

Employment contract terms : Directgov - Employment

 

Employment contract terms

 

 

The terms of an employment contract set out what you and your employer can expect of each other. There are several different types and some do not need to be written down in your employment contract.

Where do contract terms come from?

Contract terms can come from a number of different sources; for example they could be:

verbally agreed

in a written contract, or similar document

in an employee handbook or on a company notice board

in an offer letter from your employer

required by law, for example, your employer must pay you at least the minimum wage

in collective agreements (see below)

implied terms (see below)

If there's anything in your contract that you're unsure about, or which is confusing, ask your employer to explain it to you.

It should be made clear what is a legally binding part of your contract and what is not. The legal parts of a contract are known as 'terms'.

If either you or your employer breaks a term of the contract, the other is entitled to sue for breach of contract.

Breach of contract

Collective agreements

Employers sometimes make agreements with a trade union or staff association. These are know as 'collective agreements'. Your contract should make it clear which agreements apply to you and who can negotiate on your behalf. These agreements can apply to you even if you're not a member of the trade union or staff association.

Introduction to trade unions

Implied contract terms

Implied terms aren't written down anywhere, but are understood to exist. If there's nothing clearly agreed between you and your employer about a particular matter, then it may be covered by an implied term. Terms are implied into a contract for a number of reasons.

Terms that are necessary to make the contract work

Terms can also be implied because they are necessary to make the contract work. The most important of these is the 'duty of mutual trust and confidence'. This means that you and your employer rely on each other to be honest and respectful. For example, your employer trusts you not to destroy company property, and you trust your employer not to bully you.

Terms that are obvious or assumed

Some terms are included either because they are so obvious that it is not felt necessary to write them down, or because it will be assumed that such a term exists.

An example of this might be where a contract provides for sick pay without saying how long it will be paid. It will be assumed that it is not intended to be paid forever.

Terms implied by custom and practice

These are specific to an employer or kind of work. They are arrangements that have never been clearly agreed but over time have become part of the contract.

For example, you might get a Christmas bonus every year, or the business might close early on particular days.

If a company practice has become a part of your contract then your employer must stick to it, and cannot normally change it without your agreement.

Changes to employment contracts

Whether a particular practice has become a part of the contract can be very difficult to decide. There is no fixed time limit after which something is definitely part of the contract.

Among other things, it depends on:

how seriously it has been treated (has the employer acted like they have a choice?)

how clear it is (has the employer treated the matter differently each time?)

how long it has been in place

Can your employer change the terms of your contract?

Generally there must be agreement between you and your employer in order to change a contract.

Changes to employment contracts

If your employer is bought by another company, or moves to a new location, your existing terms and conditions should continue. However, the new owners should give you an amended written statement in their name.

Relocation of work

Your rights if your employer is bought by another company

 

 

 

You are entitled to a written statement of your main employment terms within two months of starting work.

 

Personal choice. Roll with it or stand up for yourself. If the latter i would make some enquiries today and maybe even produce a formal grievance if the answers are not correct.

 

M1

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Thanks for that, I'll let her know that she MUSTN'T keep quiet and is not willing to accept the reduced hours in the first instance. I'll have a read of the link in a little while.


PLEASE DONATE ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN

 

 

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

George Bernard Shaw

 

 

 

 

Go on, click me scales (if I have helped) :grin:

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Blimey, things just get better and better!

 

The relative concerned is my mum, if she loses the extra hours she just cannot manage to run her house.

 

The one on maternity leave is my cousin, same there.

 

Then my hubby has just phoned me, very quiet, then told me he is on his way home because he has just been made redundant, effective immediately.

 

My three kids are going to be very disappointed in a few weeks time :(

 

Ah well, brush yourself down and crack on, at least I still have my job......


PLEASE DONATE ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN

 

 

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

George Bernard Shaw

 

 

 

 

Go on, click me scales (if I have helped) :grin:

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I've just had a read of that link mystery, it's all what I thought it was, thanks for taking the time to read this thread it is much appreciated.

 

Terms implied by custom and practice

 

These are specific to an employer or kind of work. They are arrangements that have never been clearly agreed but over time have become part of the contract.

For example, you might get a Christmas bonus every year, or the business might close early on particular days.

If a company practice has become a part of your contract then your employer must stick to it, and cannot normally change it without your agreement.

 

Looks like this is what she needs to arm herself in any meeting that may be.

 

If anyone else has any comments I will welcome them.


PLEASE DONATE ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN

 

 

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

George Bernard Shaw

 

 

 

 

Go on, click me scales (if I have helped) :grin:

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That is exactly what may be relevant in this instance.

btw sorry to hear about all the trouble - hope things get better


I am not a lawyer, so all my advice is provided on the basis that you will check them with a trained legal professional with legal insurance.:(

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I'm sure they will, luckily I am a very positive person, we went to hell and back a few years ago and although I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, nothing can ever be that bad again, I am so much stronger and CAG just makes me feel like 10 men sometimes lol :)

 

Another bit of good news is that my cousin has actually worked there for 14 months and so has all of the law on her side to, I have just spoken to her and she is going for the jugular with mine and CAG's help, I'll start a new thread for that one when I have time.

 

Thanks for your kind comments monkeychicken, the redundancy could be a blessing in disguise.


PLEASE DONATE ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN

 

 

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

George Bernard Shaw

 

 

 

 

Go on, click me scales (if I have helped) :grin:

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