Changes can be agreed directly between you and your employer or through a « collective agreement » between your employer and a union. This may be allowed by your contract, even if you are not a union member. If you disagree, your employer is not allowed to simply make a change. However, you can terminate your contract (by announcement) and offer yourself a new one with the revised terms – you actually lay off and resume. Some conditions are not part of the contract. These include, for example, so-called out-of-contract benefits and « policies » that provide only guidance on the implementation of the treaty. However, a policy can sometimes be the subject of a contractual agreement, even if it is not indicated, for example. B customs and practices. In addition, an employer should avoid modifying non-contractual policies in a way that could destroy trust and trust, because this is contrary to an implied clause, or in a discriminatory manner. Contracts can be drawn up and amended by verbal agreement. But it can be difficult to impose a contractual clause agreed upon by the conversation alone and the handshake – because there is usually no trace of what was said during the exchange. A recording of oral variation – or with witnesses – can help prove it in the event of a dispute, but normally an oral agreement will take place precisely because of its less formal nature.
If the employer uses this approach to modify the contracts of several workers, layoffs are considered dismissals for specific purposes. When it proposes to terminate existing contracts with 20 or more employees, it must inform the Secretary of State and fulfil collective consultation obligations under the 1992 Trade Union Act (Consolidation Act 1992( see information on consultation obligations). Failure to comply with collective consultation obligations may result in the employer being ordered to pay up to 90 days of effective wages to each worker concerned. The non-repudation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs is punishable. If you want to change your contract, talk to your employer and explain why. If there is a gross business reason for the change and your employer has consulted you properly and considered alternatives, it may be difficult to earn your right. When you start working under the new conditions, you make it clear that you are working in protest and treating the change as a breach of contract. Try to solve the problem directly with your employer. If the proposed amendment affects the duration of the contract, the employer is not obligated to change the contract if: the agreed changes do not necessarily have to be made in writing, but if they change the terms of your « written statement on employment, » your employer must make a written statement to you indicating what has changed. This must be done within one month of the change.
This strategy is most effective when there is a direct practical impact on the worker (for example. B a reduction in wages) and that they continue to work without opposing it.