Making changes to the terms and conditions of a Contract of Employment

A contract of employment is an agreement between an Employer and an Employee. It will outline the rights and duties of both parties.

What or who can make a change to a contract of employment?
Any proposed changes should only be formalised after discussion between both parties and where agreement has been reached. The changes can be made by:
1. Agreement between the Employer and Employee
2. Collective agreement – this is a negotiation between an Employer and a trade union or staff association. If a collective agreement leads to a change to contracts, this will still apply to individuals who are not a trade union or staff association member
3. Implication – a change in long standing custom and practice e.g. All employees are allowed a day off each year for New Year’s Eve

Why could Employers want to change a contract of employment?
From time to time Employers need to make changes due to economic circumstances. The business itself may need to be re-organised, moved to a new location or new legislation may result in changes being required. Changes could include:
• Rates of Pay
• Working Time
• Duties & Responsibilities
• Location of work

Why could employee’s want to change their contract of employment?
Employees should discuss their reasons for wanting to make a contractual change with their employer. They would be unable to insist on a change unless it was covered by a legal right, i.e. opting out of Sunday working. Some of the reasons employee’s may request changes to their terms and conditions are below:
• To increase pay
• To improve working conditions
• To work different or flexible hours
• To change from full time to part time working

Do changes have to be in writing?
Not all changes have to be in writing, if however changes are made to the terms outlined in the statement of particulars, the Employer must give the Employee a written statement that details what changes have been made and this must be issued within one month of the change.

Flexibility Clauses
A contract of employment may also include what is known as a flexibility clause. This gives the employer the right to change conditions e.g. shift patterns, or a mobility clause which allows your job location to be changed.
However, employers should tread carefully as the implied term of mutual trust and confidence in all contracts requires the employer not to act unreasonably and the steps outlined earlier should still be followed where seaking a change to terms and conditions.

Do you need to make changes to terms and conditions in an Employee Contract?
Not sure how this can be done or how to do it? Solve. can help…