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my employer has a staff handbook as i'm sure most companies do,

this has recently been issued in a new version.

 

 

the difference with this one is that alongside all the usual information the new one also contains a lot of items not in the previous one such as the ability to deduct money from wages to cover differences in for instance cash registers and other items of stock, it goes on to add that these are now express written terms of contracts of employment.

 

we have all been asked to sign to say that we have read, understood and agree to these new terms,

however i did not think that employers could vary the terms of employment through a staff handbook,

 

 

i also understood that if employers wanted to change contracts they had to open some form of consultation, particularly if the changes were to be express terms of a contract??

 

any advice would be appreciated

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my employer has a staff handbook as i'm sure most companies do, this has recently been issued in a new version. the difference with this one is that alongside all the usual information the new one also contains a lot of items not in the previous one such as the ability to deduct money from wages to cover differences in for instance cash registers and other items of stock, it goes on to add that these are now express written terms of contracts of employment.

 

we have all been asked to sign to say that we have read, understood and agree to these new terms, however i did not think that employers could vary the terms of employment through a staff handbook, i also understood that if employers wanted to change contracts they had to open some form of consultation, particularly if the changes were to be express terms of a contract??

 

any advice would be appreciated

 

Technically you are correct, but being technically correct doesn't count for much. Whether you sign or not, you know the conditions of service because they have been made available to you, and if you continue to work for the employer you are effectively agreeing. The one exception to this is that they cannot make dedections unless you have signed agreement. But, and this is the crunch, especially if you are not in a union / the workplace is not unionised - what are you going to do about it? Because as I said, being technically correct isn't anything - you have to do something about it. And you have to do something about it now. If you don't, then it becomes de facto your new terms and conditions (with the proviso on deductions I mentioned).

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I am a barrister specialising in employment law, and only represent employees. My advice on employment issues is advice - not legal opinion - and is based only on the facts you provide. If you want an accurate assessment of your case and prospects, you should get legal opinion from a lawyer - not a public forum. Anything I tell you is for guidance only, and is based on my experience of the law in the context of what details you provide.

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