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Do I have a contract with my employer?

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Good afternoon CAG,


I have been working at my local nursery for 3 years. I started off as an apprentice and then qualified at level 3. Upon qualifying, I have worked for more than a year on their payroll, I am not and have never worked for an agency - I work with them directly. But the persistant problem is, they have never offered me a contract. It is also unfair that newly qualified practitioners got their contracts last month, and I have yet to see mine. Now they keep cutting my hours (cut more this morning) and they have held interviews for my position. I have no disciplinary records, I do my job correctly and I also finish any written work at home. What are my rights? Can they just dismiss me?



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You have a contract. Having it in writing is not necessary, and in this case they have probably complied with the law because you should have had a written contract as an apprentice when you started. The law says that you must have a written statement of the main terms when your employment begins or shortly afterwards - but it doesn't require an employer to renew that statement for subsequent continuous employment. If you have more than two years continuous service, which you suggest that you have, your terms such as working hours cannot be unilaterally cut, but it is up to you to do something about that. If you continue to work on reduced hours then the law says that you have agreed the terms. So if you wish to complain, you must do so formally in a grievance process.

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