Can my contract be changed?

Site updated on February 17, 2020

Changes to your Contract

Can my contract be changed?

Simple answer: yes, your Employer may need to change your terms: but this requires a good business reason. There is also a right way to go about making any changes. Firstly to try and get your agreement, perhaps with a pay rise! 

Your employer needs to inform, explain and consult with you, then provide reasonable notice of the change.

Once the terms and conditions of your contract have been agreed, your employer may not, generally speaking, vary them without consultation with the workforce (unless the circumstances are exceptional). Significant changes to your terms and conditions should have your agreement. If you agree to the change there is no problem.

However any attempt to change your pay, hours, place of work, or alter holiday entitlement (as examples of significant changes), should not be done without proper consideration as this is a change to your contract and you may reject the proposed change. If changes are forced upon you , you do have a number of options, you may even be able to claim breach of contract or constructive dismissal. Contact our Advice Line for further help.

Your contract may be varied by:

  • mutual agreement between you and your employer;
  • an agreement with a recognised trade union that has a collective bargaining arrangement with your Employer, whether or not you are a union member;
  • reliance on a flexibility clause in your existing contract;
  • statute, Statutory Instrument and European Directive. Your Employer has to comply with these even if it means a change to your terms.
  • Your employer giving you proper notice of the change after trying to reach agreement. You are entitled to 1 weeks notice for every year of your service, up to a maximum of 12 weeks notice. Check your contract, if you have one, to see whether changes can be made earlier due to a clause in your contract. The Employer has to have a good business reason for wishing to vary your contract.

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