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NEXT - Reducing my hours again! HELP

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Ok I'm not sure what to do here I'm in a mess now. I have read all online but it's just general pages I need some human input and help here from someone who knows a little about what they are advising on.


I have worked for next for 3 years


Last year they reduced my contract from 16 to 13 hours


I said yes because I was told I had no choice, this year again they have said to me they are now reducing my contract from 13 to 9 hours.


I do not agree, all part time employees are being forced to do this, yet they have taken on an apprentice and a full time employee whilst trying to force me to accept this change.


I can not live on a 9 hour contract, it seems unreasonable to me that they can do this and tell me that I do not have any choice in the matter. My boss is telling me daily I need to sign this contract but I don't want to I do not want a 9 hour contract. I want to try and push them to keep me as I am,


I'm liked, I work well I have good reports so there is no penalisation here. It's just something they have started doing yearly and thing they can get away with. There is nothing in my contract that says they can do this so I am confused.




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Hi Jay


What sort of consultation has been involved? What reason? Were the meetings held on a one to one basis or with Union involvement?


To an extent they are correct, and could force the change if they chose to, but only subject to certain conditions.


Sorry to hear what you are going through though - it is tough out there at present, and many retailers are doing this in order to shave costs.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.






If I have been helpful in any way - please feel free to click on the STAR to the left!


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Consultations were one to one, they involved telling me I have to sign and how many hours they can give me which is 9.


No justification apart from saving money, which cannot be true as they have took 2 new staff on at the same time.


I've heard I can make a complaint to the rights commission but I've no idea who these are or how to contact them.

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If you refused to sign a new contract allowing Next to reduce your hours, Next would have three options: (1) keep you on 13 hours, (2) reduce your hours without a signed contract and attempt to use your conduct as showing implied agreement to the change, or (3) dismiss you.


If the employer chooses option (1) then happy days. If they choose option (2) then legally the ball would be in your court and your options would be to resign in an attempt to claim compensation for constructive dismissal or continue working 'under protest' and bring a claim for unlawful deduction of wages. If option (3), thankfully you meet the qualifying period for unfair dismissal rights which makes it difficult for them to get rid of you. Based on what you have said, it sounds like Next are being thoroughly unreasonable here so it sounds like you would have a strong claim for compensation.


Personally I would be tempted to refuse to sign. Next are being pretty unreasonable here. Assuming your current contract does not allow them to reduce your hours, then I think it would be difficult for them to force it on you without opening themselves up to a strong employment tribunal claim. Another option would be to raise a grievance through HR, speak to the other part-time employees so that you can all work together, and see if you could move to a different store if this is possible.


The rights commission won't help you becauase this has nothing to do with gender/race etc. discrimination. You could ring ACAS or go to the CAB if you want further advice.


Of course, as becky thoughtfully suggests, if your current contract allows them to reduce your hours anyway then none of this matters. So check your current contract carefully. However, if the current contract already allows them to reduce your hours I do not know why they are bothering making people sign a new contract.




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