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New Role & Pay Rise - New Contract?


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Posted (edited)

Hi,

 

I have been employed full time at the company 3 years. I was informed by email at the end of May I was to start a new role beginning July. The job title and salary were stated and everything else was to be confirmed in writing mid-June. A couple of emails later it transpired there would also be a new contract..

 

I am of the understanding a new contract does not have to be issued for a change in role or pay.

 

I have been given the job description and terms this week.

 

The new paperwork is headed 'Statement of main terms of employment' it isn't as detailed, at 2.5 pages length, as my original paperwork which has a 1 page summary of terms followed by a full contract of 9 pages. The new paperwork goes on to say 'This statement together with the Employee Handbook forms part of your contract of employment, except where the contrary is expressly stated and sets out particulars of the main terms on which [my employer & their address] employs [me]'.

 

- Is this actually a new contract or a change to the original?

- I've not been informed why this is being issued, just suggested it's part and parcel of the role & rise

- Should I be informed of what has actually been changed instead of having to figure it out myself?

- I've never seen a company handbook - would it be a good idea to look at one now?

- I don't know when the terms are supposed to take effect?

- My new salary isn't stated but it's in the email at the end of May it's from the beginning of July and I've been advised verbally I'll be paid it?

 

My old contract says changes can be made to any of my terms and conditions of employment, being informed of any such changes in writing - the changes taking effect from the date of notice. Significant changes will be notified not less than one month in advance.

 

The main change I can see, which I'm not happy about - is that to summarise - under my old contract I work 37.5 hours. Overtime including weekends and bank holidays may be required but under mutual agreement and paid at 1.5x. Under the new contract I work the same 37.5 hours BUT it says they may be adjusted to suit the needs of the company, I may be required to work additional hours as necessitated by the needs of the company and as a manager, overtime is not paid for hours outside of those contracted.

 

Would this class as significant changes? Obviously my hours are not going to decrease for the same pay. I work my contractual hours, very hard and projects are completed on time. I only ever did a couple of hours paid overtime which was a task not part of my role and had to specifically be done outside of working hours. I think a few employees left lately due to having to do unpaid overtime evenings and weekends - albeit they were not managers.

 

Would a good compromise be to ask for time in lieu? for example some time ago I was informed a colleague works many additional hours but they can leave the workplace without notice if there is something they need to go and do? is that the same as time in lieu?

 

Thanks in advance.

Edited by chaoticj
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This isn't a response to all the issues you raise but a comment on two points

 

You are correct that if your contract of employment changes the employer isn't required to issue a completley new contract. Written confirmation of the changes is sufficient.

 

If the employer deems what's in a staff handbook to be part of your contract of emplyment then yes it must be made available to you. They don't have to give a printed copy though. Making it available on an internal intranet site is OK. Ask HR how you access it.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Ethel Street said:

This isn't a response to all the issues you raise but a comment on two points

 

You are correct that if your contract of employment changes the employer isn't required to issue a completley new contract. Written confirmation of the changes is sufficient.

 

If the employer deems what's in a staff handbook to be part of your contract of emplyment then yes it must be made available to you. They don't have to give a printed copy though. Making it available on an internal intranet site is OK. Ask HR how you access it.

 

Hi Ethel Street,

 

Thanks - so what they have given me is essentially written confirmation of the changes to the original contract? A lot of it is the same though or perhaps the same but worded a little differently?

 

Presumably the handbook is going to say what certain company policies are so I would be best to make myself aware of it all.

 

chaoticj

Edited by chaoticj
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Been through similar contract changes. Where company significantly updates employment contract, they issue a new contract document, rather than an addendum to the previous contract.

 

The company should have been open and honest telling you that overtime terms were being withdrawn.  For the Bank I worked for, they paid a one off lump sum of money to recognise that my new terms of employment now included working later into evenings and Saturdays, when previously I would have been paid overtime rates for hours outside of contract. I was given the option of not signing new contract, but it was made clear that pay rises and opportunities for old contract employees would be minimal. And that if I was ever offered promotion, I would have to accept new contract. 

 

What you will find under your new contract is that you will be expected to work additional hours as required and there are no rights to have time off using any additional hours credit you have built up. And the company are pretty unlikely to confirm any such rights in writing. Instead they will tell you to speak to your line manager and colleagues, to ensure business needs are always covered,  before any flexibility with hours.  They will talk about work/life balance, but if your company is always busy or always having staff off work for whatever reason, you will be working 60 hours a week, with it being difficult to take time off using any additional hours credit.

 

Not saying this is right what employers are doing. Suggest that you always record your hours fully every day and you do speak to your line manager about your work hours on a regular basis.

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Hi unclebulgaria67,

 

So would this be classed as a 'reasonable change' as per my original contract or a 'significant change'? Let's say I accept and further down the line they decide they want me to work longer hours, or unpaid overtime which to use your example results in a 60 hour week - seems quite significant to me?

 

Spoke to my line manager today and asked some questions:

 

- What is the reason for change in terms?
The HR company has issued this - everyone has had it - a standard statement - it's mandatory.

- What is being changed?

No change - just your job title and pay.

 

- When does this come into effect from?

Today, when you sign it - you don't get the extra pay until you do.

(Then I say I was advised the job title and pay would be with effect from July, which was long before I had any job description or contract change to look at)

 

- I've read it and there are two points here which I'm not too keen on.. will my working hours change? is there an expectation of unpaid overtime?

No
(Then I ask if we can remove this part) No we can't take it out

(Then I ask if I can have time in lieu instead) No we can't do that, it's the same for everyone

 

Cue a discussion about some of my concerns and thoughts.. where it's mentioned 'if someone doesn't like it there are other options out there' which I take to mean they would look to dismiss me?

 

Then I'm really complemented, flattered about the quality of my work etc. and that I won't be asked to do more than I currently do.. as an agreement between the two of us?

 

Thoughts? I'm currently thinking I'm a bit forced into accepting it.. but get seriously looking elsewhere as I feel the pay even with the increase is well below what I could be earning and it's a bit of a toxic environment.

 

Regards,

chaoticj

 

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If they are removing overtime pay terms and making changes which you feel are significant, then I suggest that you discuss with Union if you are a member or contact ACAS. 

 

WWW.ACAS.ORG.UK

 

If the new contract is  paying you a higher salary in lieu of the changes, if you did not accept the new contract, you would remain on the previous salary level and old contract terms.

 

 

 

 

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Is your old job still available? You can accept the new job, go back to your old one or, if it isn't there, ask to be made redundant.

 

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Hi,

 

After thinking about this I decided I wasn't happy with the contract changes. Verbal agreements can't be relied upon and if I change manager they could enforce the terms.

 

So I emailed my manager saying further to our discussion where they said there would be no changes to my contract, working hours or requirement to do unpaid overtime could they please reply and confirm this. Upon which I'd be happy to sign the contract.

 

It's been a couple of days and no reply.. how would you proceed?

 

Many thanks.

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sit tight.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

Hi,

 

So just to update.. I did chase this up with my manager as I hadn't heard anything for a couple of weeks and was concerned I could be seen after.. say a month as deemed to be working under the contract amendments. The response was them reiterating that the contract amendments were as presented and couldn't be changed, the same for everyone and saying we could have a meeting about the 'alternatives' if need be.

 

Anyway I decided to stick to my guns and reiterate my own position which was that I wanted to come to a compromise that was acceptable for both parties. I'd be happy to sign if my manager could put in writing I wouldn't be held to compulsory unpaid overtime or have my hours changed. I was not expecting to be paid for overtime as per current contract and if some unpaid overtime was required as long as it wasn't due to say a colleague leaving something until the last minute then obviously as a manger I would do it. Otherwise could we have the meeting to discuss the 'alternatives'.

 

Surprisingly my manager then had a meeting with me where they instantly agreed with everything I had said/previously said, put in writing I wouldn't be held to compulsory unpaid overtime or have my hours changed, signing and dating this, my increased salary would be paid that month and going over a few other points they knew I'd been a bit unhappy about as well as my general well being.

 

What I then did was take a copy of said document and attach the original to the copy of the contract amendments I then signed and returned to them, making a note that there was an attached addendum.

 

Regards,

chaoticj

Edited by chaoticj
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