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Anyone know the law on changing an employees shift pattern?

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16-07-2017, 20:50   #1
banjodeano
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A work colleague has been told his shift pattern is to be changed, and this will cause him issues with child care, is there a legal requirment of 90 days notice?
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16-07-2017, 21:08   #2
andyofborg
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as far as i'm aware, a lot will depend on the contract of employment, if it mentions specific working hours then probably not, if it just gives a number of hours to be worked then probably

if a small change to the shift pattern would resolve the child care problem then it may be better to talk things through with management and try to reach an mutually satisfactory agreement.

your colleague really needs proper advice from a real person not the pretend ones on here
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16-07-2017, 21:28   #3
banjodeano
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Thanks Andy...
His contract is the same as mine, we work for the same company, our employer says he has only to give one weeks notice to change his shift pattern, and when i have looked at my contract to check, it doesnt say anything about one weeks notice, but it does say "they reserve the right to enforce a change if necessary"...it will cause him serious problems with childcare issues, and this he explained to the manager but it fell on deaf ears..
i shall try and speak to the union tomorrow and see what the legal requirment is,
Thanks again for your contribution
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17-07-2017, 06:10   #4
cgksheff
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There is no legal requirement for any notice for change, other than anything in the contract.

There is provision in law to protect childcare rights if you have a disabled child.

Working Time Regulations must still apply.

If contracts are not clear and changes are considered unreasonable, you could treat it as constructive dismissal.

Excellent, free telephone advice is available from ACAS. Google for contact details.
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17-07-2017, 12:29   #5
steveroberts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgksheff View Post
There is no legal requirement for any notice for change, other than anything in the contract.

There is provision in law to protect childcare rights if you have a disabled child.

Working Time Regulations must still apply.

If contracts are not clear and changes are considered unreasonable, you could treat it as constructive dismissal.

Excellent, free telephone advice is available from ACAS. Google for contact details.
Good advice.
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17-07-2017, 12:34   #6
banjodeano
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Thanks everyone...
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18-07-2017, 09:13   #7
MobileB
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As other have said will be contract dependent but most invariably have a flexible clause in there. Would also depend on how long current shifts have been worked (could claim custom and practise) even if there is a flexible clause. Would also need to take account of what the actual changes are. So, for instance, if currently working 9-5 and they wish to change to 8-4 then this would probably be classed as reasonable unless there is some significant reason that this cannot be done (child care, public transport etc). If however, currently is 9-5 and changes to 3-11 then that is significant and would probably be a breach of contract.

As said, with all Contract of Employment issues, unless collective agreement in place, it is all dependent upon individual circumstances.
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18-07-2017, 09:23   #8
banjodeano
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Originally Posted by MobileB View Post
As other have said will be contract dependent but most invariably have a flexible clause in there. Would also depend on how long current shifts have been worked (could claim custom and practise) even if there is a flexible clause. Would also need to take account of what the actual changes are. So, for instance, if currently working 9-5 and they wish to change to 8-4 then this would probably be classed as reasonable unless there is some significant reason that this cannot be done (child care, public transport etc). If however, currently is 9-5 and changes to 3-11 then that is significant and would probably be a breach of contract.

As said, with all Contract of Employment issues, unless collective agreement in place, it is all dependent upon individual circumstances.
Thanks for that info MobileB, the contract is a little vague on time scale, but they do state that "they reserve the right to enforce a change if necessary"....
My colleague is working 6-2 and 2-10 shifts monday to friday, and has been doing so for over 2 years, now he has been asked to work 6- 3.30 four days a week...and he tells me that the new shift pattern will cause havoc with his childcare costs and increase it very considerably
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18-07-2017, 09:55   #9
MobileB
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Originally Posted by banjodeano View Post
Thanks for that info MobileB, the contract is a little vague on time scale, but they do state that "they reserve the right to enforce a change if necessary"....
My colleague is working 6-2 and 2-10 shifts monday to friday, and has been doing so for over 2 years, now he has been asked to work 6- 3.30 four days a week...and he tells me that the new shift pattern will cause havoc with his childcare costs and increase it very considerably
Hard to give individual advise but are they removing the 2-10 shift completely from the business? They may have good financial reasons for that and in which case if he is unable to adjust then there would be a case for redundancy. It is a very complex area. I know from my experience most people would bite their hand off though for that change!
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18-07-2017, 11:12   #10
banjodeano
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Originally Posted by MobileB View Post
Hard to give individual advise but are they removing the 2-10 shift completely from the business? They may have good financial reasons for that and in which case if he is unable to adjust then there would be a case for redundancy. It is a very complex area. I know from my experience most people would bite their hand off though for that change!
No, the company is facing a temporary downturn in business, temp workers have been laid off, and on the book staff have been put into the positions of the laid off workers, so there are some people working two shifts, five days a week, and some working one shift four days a week.
We all understand the situation, and most people are very accepting that we have to be flexible, but my colleague doesnt want to change his shift pattern because of child care issues, and the financial losses involved, but to be honest, i think he will have to accept the changes and hope it will just be a short term inconvenience
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18-07-2017, 11:57   #11
MobileB
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Originally Posted by banjodeano View Post
No, the company is facing a temporary downturn in business, temp workers have been laid off, and on the book staff have been put into the positions of the laid off workers, so there are some people working two shifts, five days a week, and some working one shift four days a week.
We all understand the situation, and most people are very accepting that we have to be flexible, but my colleague doesnt want to change his shift pattern because of child care issues, and the financial losses involved, but to be honest, i think he will have to accept the changes and hope it will just be a short term inconvenience
If they are changing some and not others, then if I was in their position I would have gone out for volunteers first to change. If not enough volunteers then look to individual circumstances such as this as not to change and only then afterwards force the move through business critical reasons. If it is that bad and he cannot change then he would have a case for redundancy. I think in his position I would be weighing up how much I would get through redundancy, against loss of wage, ease of finding another job with suitable hours, against increased childcare costs.
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