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New Work Contracts


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31 replies to this topic

#1 Johnoco

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:50 PM

Can a firm turn round to you and say 'we are cutting your pay, increasing your hours. Here is a new contract, sign it or else'.

This is what is happening to me. Do I have a leg to stand on or are we stuffed? Union is not an option.
Any legal Eagles? Thanks

#2 ckn

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:58 PM

No, they can't. A contract is a two way thing. It's almost an automatic loss at a tribunal if you walk out. Most lawyers who do employment law will give you a free 30 mins and a quick opinion. Get proper advice before you sign.

Arguing with the forum trolls is like playing chess with a pigeon.  No matter how good you are, the bird will **** on the board and strut around like it won anyway


#3 Johnoco

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 08:08 PM

Thanks. Is it employment law specialists or just general solicitors I should look at?

#4 ckn

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 08:37 PM

Thanks. Is it employment law specialists or just general solicitors I should look at?

Employment law specialists. Citizens Advice should have names of the ones they'd recommend in your area.

Arguing with the forum trolls is like playing chess with a pigeon.  No matter how good you are, the bird will **** on the board and strut around like it won anyway


#5 Derwent

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 09:37 PM

No, they can't. A contract is a two way thing. It's almost an automatic loss at a tribunal if you walk out. Most lawyers who do employment law will give you a free 30 mins and a quick opinion. Get proper advice before you sign.


Actually they can if it is written clearly and unambiguously that they reserve the right to do so either in the contract of employment or the staff handbook, and can demonstrate a clear business need for doing it. The recent Employment Tribunal case between Bateman & Ors v Asda set a precedent for it, and the Appeal Tribunal upheld the decision.

#6 Johnoco

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 10:04 PM

What I want to know is, if I refuse to sign it, can they get rid of me? I don't mean 'make life difficult' but actually sack me?
They are arguing that it is for business reasons but then they always say that.

Edited by Johnoco, 11 August 2013 - 10:05 PM.


#7 Larry the Leit

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 05:46 AM

What do you do for a living, and how large is the firm?

How long have you been there? What is your notice period etc?

As others have said, CAB is useful. However if you give all the grotty details here I'm sure you'll get a fair response - it's generally not THAT complicated.

My advice at this stage is never to react or say anything. Always say you need time to consider your response. Don't be tempted to enter into off the record conversations (and use the phrase "without prejudice" if you do as they will take you more seriously) unless you really want to.
The Unicorn is not a Goose,

#8 gingerjon

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 05:50 AM

Can a firm turn round to you and say 'we are cutting your pay, increasing your hours. Here is a new contract, sign it or else'.

This is what is happening to me. Do I have a leg to stand on or are we stuffed? Union is not an option.
Any legal Eagles? Thanks

 

Are they doing the same, or equivalent, to everyone?


Cheer up, RL is actually rather good
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#9 Derwent

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 06:10 AM

What I want to know is, if I refuse to sign it, can they get rid of me? I don't mean 'make life difficult' but actually sack me?
They are arguing that it is for business reasons but then they always say that.


It's not quite as simple as that but no they can't sack you as in permanently dispense with your services. However, providing they give you statutory notice then they can terminate your contract so long as they offer you a new one which starts on the same day that your old one ends. If you refuse the new one then you could be dismissed at that point. You would maybe have a claim for constructive dismissal but it would depend on if the employer has acted "reasonably". For example, asking you to work an extra 2 hours per week would not be seen as unreasonable but asking for 12 hours would be. It's a real minefield and every case is different depending on circumstances.

#10 Johnoco

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 06:35 AM

Are they doing the same, or equivalent, to everyone?

Everyone is getting a pay cut but to varying degrees so its not a case of picking on any individual. Its just that I am not sure whether they can just say 'take it or do one' but it appears that they can.

#11 Johnoco

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 06:37 AM

It's not quite as simple as that but no they can't sack you as in permanently dispense with your services. However, providing they give you statutory notice then they can terminate your contract so long as they offer you a new one which starts on the same day that your old one ends. If you refuse the new one then you could be dismissed at that point. You would maybe have a claim for constructive dismissal but it would depend on if the employer has acted "reasonably". For example, asking you to work an extra 2 hours per week would not be seen as unreasonable but asking for 12 hours would be. It's a real minefield and every case is different depending on circumstances.

Thanks. Looks like I am stuffed then. The additional hours in themselves aren't excessive but they are on top of other hours owed already. (Annualised hours)
Thanks all.

#12 Severus

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 07:29 AM

That's a crappy situation to find yourself in. Incidentally, why is getting union help not an option, this is what they are there for. 


Fides invicta triumphat

#13 Johnoco

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:36 AM

That's a crappy situation to find yourself in. Incidentally, why is getting union help not an option, this is what they are there for.

The print unions have been so weakened as to be a waste of time. Any strong union shop has gone as the owners just shut up the factory rather than fight about things. They weren't bluffing either, the industry has shrunk loads. It now leaves the situation with one or two people in the union or shops with just a token union presence. I am not daft I know they are not just doing this for a laugh but I am looking at a near 20% cut.

#14 gingerjon

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 09:15 AM

The print unions have been so weakened as to be a waste of time. Any strong union shop has gone as the owners just shut up the factory rather than fight about things. They weren't bluffing either, the industry has shrunk loads. It now leaves the situation with one or two people in the union or shops with just a token union presence. I am not daft I know they are not just doing this for a laugh but I am looking at a near 20% cut.

 

The union may not be able to fight it as such but they could advise with regards to legality of process and maybe get some sweeteners in there if you really have no choice.


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#15 Derwent

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 09:59 AM

 

I am not daft I know they are not just doing this for a laugh but I am looking at a near 20% cut.


A key point there is are they cutting your hourly rate by 20% or is it a cut in other allowances over and above the basic pay ? If they're cutting basic pay by 20% then I'd fight it as that would be highly likely to be seen as unreasonable by a tribunal. However, if its allowances such as shift premium etc then those are generally at the employer's discretion and there's probably something in your contract/staff handbook to that effect.

#16 Gary Coyle

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 10:25 AM

Yes they can, as long as they give the statutory 13 weeks notice.



#17 Gary Coyle

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 10:27 AM

The print unions have been so weakened as to be a waste of time. Any strong union shop has gone as the owners just shut up the factory rather than fight about things. They weren't bluffing either, the industry has shrunk loads. It now leaves the situation with one or two people in the union or shops with just a token union presence. I am not daft I know they are not just doing this for a laugh but I am looking at a near 20% cut.

I used to be an FOC in SOGAT in the late seventies, we fought for and got 20% rises year on year but we ourselves brought about our own downfall



#18 Johnoco

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:07 AM

I used to be an FOC in SOGAT in the late seventies, we fought for and got 20% rises year on year but we ourselves brought about our own downfall

Yes they were a bit much with their 'everybody out' mentality and being unreasonable. Now its too far the other way.

#19 Johnoco

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:12 AM

A key point there is are they cutting your hourly rate by 20% or is it a cut in other allowances over and above the basic pay ? If they're cutting basic pay by 20% then I'd fight it as that would be highly likely to be seen as unreasonable by a tribunal. However, if its allowances such as shift premium etc then those are generally at the employer's discretion and there's probably something in your contract/staff handbook to that effect.

Without being too specific I am losing 19.5% of my basic pay. Others less. The argument being we (ie people in my role) are paid more than others elsewhere for a similar job. (ie market rate or something)

Anyway, I have started ringing round a few contacts to see what is out there. I can live with the pay cut but it won't end there. They want everything one way.

#20 Griff9of13

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:14 AM

I take it there is no chance of finding an alternative employer? Because if I found myself in such circumstances the first thing I would be doing would be trying to get out. Though I do realise that it isn't always that simple; if there is no other company in your area, or there is but they are in the same situation.


"it is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it."




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