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Practical and knowledgeable advice on the legality of employment contract changes whether you are an employer or employee.

Employment contract changes

All employees have a contract of employment. These can be written or verbal and can contain either express, implied or statutory terms.

Under Section 1 of the Employment  Rights Act 1996, certain contractual terms must be put in writing within two months of the employment starting.

From April 2020 a document containing those terms must be provided on or before the date the employment starts and this obligation extends to workers as well as employees.

Changes to and variations of employment contract terms

If you are an employee facing a situation where your employer is seeking to change your employment terms, whether pay, holidays, where you work, job role or anything else and you want legal advice on whether this is a breach of contract, our employment lawyers can help. We can also advise on option where the employer is trying to force through contract changes and you are considering resigning and claim wrongful dismissal.

If you are an employer and you need specialist employment law advice on potential ways to update or vary your employment contracts, please do contact us.

Many employers split employment terms and conditions between the employment contract and a staff handbook or other policies. One of the reasons for this is that, as with other contracts, an employment contract cannot be varied without consent from both employer and employee. This is why employers often include aspects of workplace practices in non-contractual policies which can potentially be altered by the employer.

Implied terms and custom and practice

Implied terms, such as the obligation not to destroy trust and confidence, are also important and, if breached by an employer, can lead to an employee resigning and claiming constructive unfair dismissal at an Employment Tribunal.

It is critical to employment relationships that contracts are not breached. For instance, if an employer:

  • Wishes to change contract terms, this should only be by consent
  • Attempts to change contract terms without consent, an employee may have a claim

Our employment lawyers can help

We regularly deal with issues relating to changes to employment contracts, whether advising on the legality. implications or situations where changes have been made already and they may or may not be lawful.

Whether you are an employer seeking advice on how to vary your employment contracts or policies or an employee concerned that your terms of employment have changed without your agreement or how to deal with an employer seeking to change key terms of your employment, we can help. Please do call or email.

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