In a tough economic climate, many employers want their employees to accept a change in their working conditions. Often an employer wants employees to change hours or location of work to help the business remain stable and to grow. An employee may find a change inconvenient for work and home life balance and want to say no.
Both employers and employees should be able to look at a written contract of employment that sets out when the employer can change conditions. Often the contract requires an employee to agree to work in a number of locations or be flexible about changes of hours.
If there is no provision in the contract then sometimes the right to impose changes can be implied because of an established custom in the industry or trade. Or, sometimes membership of a union allows the union to agree to changes that bind the employee.
If there is no right to demand a change then the employer can request the employee to agree a change. If an employee carries on working with the changes then the employee can be deemed to have accepted the changes. If an employee wants to carry on working but resists the changes it is important to make clear to the Employer that the changes are not accepted.
Avoid a flashpoint…
If the dispute cannot be resolved it is advisable to seek advice from a specialist employment lawyer before doing anything in a rush.. An employer threatening dismissal if a change is not accepted could find itself facing a successful unfair dismissal compensation or constructive dismissal claim. An employee refusing to attend work while the dispute is resolved may risk dismissal
There is free information available that may help- you can consult the ACAS website which has a lot of useful information on its website and if the problem cannot be resolved then specialist legal advice should be taken.