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disgruntled2007

Change of benefits during shift pattern re-structure

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Hi!

 

I'm hoping somebody will be along to kindly advise on the legal position of a change in terms that are being imposed during an enforced restructure of the Company shift patterns.

 

The majority of us currently work a double day shift pattern that alternates weekly. Our employment contract shows hours worked and start and finish times etc together with the usual spiel about sickness, benefits et al.

 

It also includes a statement that we are entitled to 25 days holiday per annum and an additional 8 Bank Holidays.

 

The shift pattern has a note that states they can change our working hours according to business needs etc... standard stuff...

 

Current hours being Monday-Friday 07.00-15.15 and Monday-Thursday 13.45-00.00

 

So, we have now been offered one of four new shifts, be it weekday earlies, weekday lates, weekend earlies or weekend lates. These are static displacements with no rotation.

 

The new contract states that for those who will work weekday lates their holiday allowance is 20 days and 7 Bank holidays.

 

Weekday earlies are unaffected by this as their entitlement remains the same.

 

For weekends it is 15 days and 5 BH. (I haven't seen a weekend contract letter yet)

 

We were previously offered preference forms where we had to list order of preference by numbering 1 to 4. We have an email from HR stating that no other terms and conditions (other than shift pattern) will change.

 

I want to concentrate on weekday lates for the time being. The new hours will be Monday through Thursday, 13.30-23.30.

 

I can't help thinking that the employer can't reduce the benefit from an existing contract... in this case holidays....

 

Can somebody please advise?

 

There is no real issue with the new patterns or period of notice (changes take effect 1st Feb 17) but if anyone sees a problem feel free to point it out.

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Can they reduce benefits. Of course they can. They just did. What they definitely cannot do is reduce it to 20 days plus 7 public holidays - that is less than the statutory entitlement of 28 days! Can they get away with the changes? Well that is up to you and your colleagues. In the end, in law, then yes, they may well be able to get away with this. There's certainly nothing that says they can't do it.

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Hi,

 

the entitlement is actually 5.6 weeks, and the number of day in a week will vary depending on hw many days in a week you work.

 

As weekday lates is a 4 day week I wonder if you get "longer" holiday days.

 

Can you ask HR to work it out in hours so you can see if it s comparable?


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Hi,

 

the entitlement is actually 5.6 weeks, and the number of day in a week will vary depending on hw many days in a week you work.

 

As weekday lates is a 4 day week I wonder if you get "longer" holiday days.

 

Can you ask HR to work it out in hours so you can see if it s comparable?

 

True. I assumed, which I should not have done, that the OP was full time and worked a five day week based on their statement of previous holiday entitlement. I didn't notice that it had moved to a four day week. Still full time, but a different working week. But the fact still remains that the new contract appears to have significantly less holiday entitlement. For example, even if you do not work on a bank holiday, workers are still entitled to the bank holiday if it forms part of their statutory leave - it doesn't just disappear. So if expressed in days, it is still 20 days plus 8 bank holidays, not seven.

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True. I assumed, which I should not have done, that the OP was full time and worked a five day week based on their statement of previous holiday entitlement. I didn't notice that it had moved to a four day week. Still full time, but a different working week. But the fact still remains that the new contract appears to have significantly less holiday entitlement. For example, even if you do not work on a bank holiday, workers are still entitled to the bank holiday if it forms part of their statutory leave - it doesn't just disappear. So if expressed in days, it is still 20 days plus 8 bank holidays, not seven.

 

Interesting point. Is that just a minor technicality or worthy of pointing out?

 

As for the significantly less holiday entitlement, how do you come to that?

 

I'm looking at it pragmatically that I'm going to be working twenty percent less days per week and have lost twenty percent of my holiday entitlement so it's basically stayed the same. No?

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But your new hours are 10 hours a day, four days a week. On what planet does that qualify as not full time? If you are working 40 hours a week, then that would, by your reasoning, mean that in order to be a full time worker your contractual term would be 50 hours a week. Is that what you currently work - 50 hours per week? Or are you " part time"?

 

I do agree with Emmzi that this requires an explanation. But if, as the employer told you, no actual changes have been made to your terms, then 25 days is not 20 days and 8 days is not 7 days. You would need to know what is considered full time, and how the employer has calculated the leave entitlement

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But your new hours are 10 hours a day, four days a week. On what planet does that qualify as not full time? If you are working 40 hours a week, then that would, by your reasoning, mean that in order to be a full time worker your contractual term would be 50 hours a week. Is that what you currently work - 50 hours per week? Or are you " part time"?

 

I do agree with Emmzi that this requires an explanation. But if, as the employer told you, no actual changes have been made to your terms, then 25 days is not 20 days and 8 days is not 7 days. You would need to know what is considered full time, and how the employer has calculated the leave entitlement

 

It is full time but even the government holiday entitlement page shows working a four day shift gives an entitlement below that which the company is offering.

 

Interestingly enough I've just calculated that the current shift pattern holiday entitlement, excluding BH, is 202hrs from annual hours of 2054.

 

The new pattern is 190hrs from 1976. There is a clear reduction in hours of holiday entitlement, but the working hours have dropped too so, again, on balance, it doesn't seem too bad when analysed.

 

Additionally, with the revised shift rate, my hourly rate has increased by £1.20, too.

 

On reflection it might be wise to just accept the terms without making waves....

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