Changing Contracts of Employment


“We have successfully defended employer clients in the Employment Tribunal who have dismissed employees for refusing to change their contract of employment”.

Changing contracts of employment is required when different situations arise that were not foreseen when the original contract was drafted.  The business reasons behind changing contracts of employment may include a reorganisation such as the introduction of a new shift pattern, or the necessity to deduct monies from an employee’s wages in pre-agreed circumstances

http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3971

Employers cannot unilaterally make changes to an employee’s contract of employment and accordingly need to obtain the employee’s agreement to make the change.  In our experience most employees agree to changing contracts of employment if they consider it to be fair.  However, a situation may arise where an isolated employee refuses to agree.  In such a situation what are the options open to the employer in changing contracts of employment?

Changing Contracts Of Employment

Changing Contracts Of Employment

Refusal to Change the Contract of Employment

Where an employee refuses to allow the employer to change the contract of employment the employer must consult with the employee in order to see if the obstacles can be overcome.  If the consultation does not bring about a resolution, then the employer may have to consider dismissing the employee, due to ‘some other substantial reason’ (“SOSR”) and offering a new contract inclusive of the revised terms.  If the employee does not accept the revised contract they will be dismissed for SOSR which is a potentially fair reason for dismissal (The Employment Rights Act 1996).

What to do next – Changing Contracts of Employment

If you are considering changing contracts of employment then we can help. EBS Law have significant experience of advising employers on how to change employment contracts.  We have successfully defended employer clients in the Employment Tribunal who have dismissed employees for refusing the change of contract.

For further information please contact our legal team on 01625 87 5587