Variation of Employment Contracts

Employer

Following a period of employment, the employer may wish to make changes to the Contract of Employment, for instance due to changes in the business it may make economic sense to change the hours of work or even pay.

An existing Contract of Employment can only be changed with the agreement of both parties. These changes can be agreed either with the employee as an individual or through a collective agreement.

Once a change has been implemented, the employer must give the employee written notification of the changes in writing within one month of the change taking effect.

If the employer wishes to make any changes to the Contract of Employment, it must:

  • Consult with the employees or their representatives;
  • Explain the reason for the proposed change;
  • Discuss any alternative ideas which the employee puts forward.

The employee can also request that changes are made to the Contract of Employment, for instance he or she may seek a pay rise or wish to change their working hours. The employee cannot insist on making a change to the Contract of Employment, unless it is one provided for by law.

Once a change has been agreed, the employer must update the written statement of the employment conditions and write to the employee within a month to tell them exactly what has been changed.

If an employer changes terms and conditions which are not in the written Contract of Employment, for instance with regard to sick leave, it must write to the employees informing them of the change and where to find information about the change, such as in the "Staff Handbook".

It is advisable for the employer to have written into the Contract a "flexibility clause" which enables the employer to make certain changes to some conditions of the Employment Contract, for instance with regard to relocation, but such changes must be "reasonable" changes.

Fosters will be happy to advise with regard to proposed changes to Contracts of Employment or to terms and conditions and to assist with negotiations with employees and/or their representatives.


Employee

Following a period of employment, either the employer or the employee may wish to make changes to the Contract of Employment, for instance to change the hours of work or pay.

An existing Contract of Employment can only be changed with the agreement of both parties.

If the employer wishes to make any changes to the Contract of Employment, it must:

  • Consult with the employees or their representatives;
  • Explain the reason for the proposed change;
  • Discuss any alternative ideas which the employee puts forward.

The employee may request that changes are made to the Contract of Employment, for instance he or she may seek a pay rise or wish to change their working hours. The employee cannot insist on making a change to the Contract of Employment, unless it is one provided for by law.

Once a change has been implemented, the employer must update the written statement of the employment conditions and give the employee written notification of the changes in writing within one month of the change taking effect.

The employer may alter terms and conditions which are not in the written Contract of Employment. For instance, it may change the terms with regard to sick leave which may be contained in the "Staff Handbook". If so, the employer must write to the employees informing them of the change and where to find information about the change.

The Contract of Employment may contain a "flexibility clause&quout; which enables the employer to make certain changes to some conditions of the Employment Contract, for instance with regard to relocation. However, such changes must be "reasonable" changes. The employer cannot for instance require the employee to begin work in a different country with only a few days' notice.

Fosters will be happy to advise with regard to proposed changes to Contracts of Employment or to terms and conditions and to assist with negotiations with the employer.

The above is for general information only and should not be constituted as formal legal advice.

Contacting Us

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