As an employee, you have most likely signed a contract outlining your hours of work. However, sometimes the employer may need to adjust these hours due to business needs or other reasons. The question that arises is whether your employer can legally change your contract hours.
In most cases, employers have the right to change an employee’s contract hours provided that they follow the correct procedure and obtain the employee’s agreement if necessary. However, there are limits to what employers can do and employees should be aware of their rights.
Firstly, when an employer changes an employee’s hours of work, they need to follow the proper process outlined in the employee’s contract. This process may include consulting with the employee or their union representative. Failure to do so could result in the changes being deemed unfair, which could lead to legal action.
Secondly, employers must consider the impact of the proposed changes on employees’ lives outside of work. Changes to working hours can have a significant impact on employees’ childcare arrangements, family obligations, and overall work-life balance. Employers must consider these factors and make reasonable accommodations where possible.
Additionally, if an employer changes an employee’s hours of work without following the correct process, they may be in breach of contract. This could lead to legal action, including a claim for damages or an injunction to reinstate the original working hours.
It is important to note that some contracts may include a ‘flexibility clause,’ which provides employers with the right to make changes to an employee’s hours of work. However, this clause must be reasonable, and employers must follow the correct process when using it.
In conclusion, employer’s have the right to change an employee’s contract hours, provided they follow the correct process and consider the impact of the changes. As an employee, it is important to be aware of your rights and the procedures outlined in your contract. Should an employer breach your contract, you may have legal recourse available to you.