A given that a company will have to make modifications and amend the terms of its employee contracts in the present atmosphere. For example, some businesses have relocated their offices or rearranged their work schedules to accommodate flexible hours.
To change a contract, employers must go through a specified procedure.
Consult your employee
To avoid imposing a modification to an employee’s contract, you must communicate with the employee before making any changes. If there is sufficient cause, a fair method has been followed, and the employee contacted, you may impose a change without their consent. There are, however, certain drawbacks.
Clauses permit changes to the terms and conditions of work in certain employment contracts. That doesn’t mean that you may do anything you want as an employer. Employees will need to be fully consulted. You will need to demonstrate that you have taken the employees’ perspectives into account and have a solid business rationale for making the change.
If a consensual agreement cannot be reached, the employee may have to be terminated and offered a new contract. Employee representatives must be included if you’re planning to fire 20 or more workers, then rehire them on new contracts.
Three simple steps to follow
You must take the following procedures to change the terms of your employment contract:
Consult with employees
The only way to avoid a backlash against a new initiative is to engage with the people affected by it. The first step is to lay out the business rationale for the change. Ensure that both workers and management are aware of the advantages of the conversation and give everyone the time to process and react. This might need a series of meetings.
- Workers’ concerns and ideas should be considered in the effort to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement.
- Maintain a record of every meeting and copies of any shared correspondence, and allow the participants to bring a companion.
You may go on to step 3 if you complete this step and agree.
Dismissal and re-employment
You may implement the modification if step 1 fails and you cannot agree. To do this, you’ll need to complete the steps outlined below to terminate your current employment contract. To prevent future tribunal cases, you must treat your workers fairly and consistently at all times.
- Provide the employee with a written explanation of why they are being considered for termination.
- Make an appointment with them to talk (you should give them at least 48 hours notice to prepare). They may bring a coworker or a representative from their union with them.
- Together with a coworker who can take notes preside over the meeting.
- If an employee cannot make it to a meeting, you must provide them with a rescheduling window of five working days.
Before terminating a contract to implement the modifications, you must notify and confirm in writing the employee of your decision and their right to appeal. If this occurs, you should ask your employee for an appeal hearing.
The right amount of notice of termination must be provided to the employee (either contractually or statutorily), whichever is the biggest. A written agreement is needed to affirm this. If an employee is fired and subsequently reinstated or rehired after an appeal, the employee’s continuity of employment is maintained.
Issue a new contract
A new contract should be given at the beginning of the procedure for the employee’s consideration.
Two alternatives are available to the employee:
- If the employee agrees to the new conditions, their employment will continue. Confirm this in writing by signing the new agreement
- When their notice period expires, their job will be terminated. You should be informed that they could sue you for wrongful termination. However, if you followed a fair method and can show that the change was required for the firm, an employment tribunal may rule that the dismissal was reasonable. It’s possible to claim that even if the offer is deemed unfair, the employee has failed to minimise any losses they have suffered as a consequence of their dismissal and that any compensation should be reduced in proportionately because they refuse the offer.