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Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
My mum is being treated really badly at work and i am sick of it. She is the most kind hard working person i know and has worked there for years (1992) and they are trying thier best to get her and a few others out so they can get the polish in as they can get more work for less pay out of them (sorry if this offends anyone but this is the way its working at her work).

Anyway basically one thing i am trying to find out is, can they FORCE her to take a contract of lesser hours?
They have given her a contract with alot of added extras like changing her from permanent employee to being able to dismiss her with 12 weeks notice (therefore getting out of giving her her redundancy pay.
Also stating that she will be required to work overtime for nothing (now this really takes the piss as she is on minimum wage!!!!!)

I have told her not to sign it and get advice which she is going to BUT she said they will make her life hell and they will just turn around and lower her contracted hours even more so that she can no longer afford to work there.

Can they legally do this?

Does anyone know? I want to help her as much as i can, she can't afford to lose a job as its just her to pay the rent and bills etc.

Any help appreciated

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ACAS is your best bet. Some places do treat their staff like crap and they shouldnt be able to get away with it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sounds a bit dodgy here, Deffinately unethical and imoral, whether its illegal or not I'm not sure.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The problem with reducing hours is that say for example there has been a downturn in business, then the alternative to signing for lessor hours might be that the company makes the position redundant. If that were the case, then there may be a case of unfair dismissal, but this would have to be carefully looked at with legal advice.

    Probably the best thing to do would be to consult proper advice from a union or ACAS.

    I do not really know about the other changes to the T&Cs. It may depend on her previous contract as to what changes they can make. Certainly in normal contract law one party cannot unilaterally change the conditions, you need agreement. But such agreement could amount to giving notice of the changes. There is a lot of stuff that employers can get away with.

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Employees/WorkingHoursAndTimeOff/DG_10028439 covers overtime and payments - her average payment has to stay above minimum wage.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mist wrote: »
    The problem with reducing hours is that say for example there has been a downturn in business, then the alternative to signing for lessor hours might be that the company makes the position redundant.


    But if they did that on the old contract they would have to pay redundancy though wouldnt they? Which if you ask me is the best thing that could come out of this but they are trying to get out of paying her it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Tweety wrote: »
    But if they did that on the old contract they would have to pay redundancy though wouldnt they? Which if you ask me is the best thing that could come out of this but they are trying to get out of paying her it.

    If they made her redundant then yes they would need to comply with legislation around redundancy payments. Really she needs to get specific advice.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Shes gonna phone CAB local one asap just wondered if anyone here knew anything to help too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well if anyones interested my mum went to CAB and they basically told her that shes lucky to have a job and that they can more or less do what they want.

    They can change her hours as and when they please, and if that means she loses her home because of it theres nothing she can do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :(
  • Olly_BOlly_B Mod-u-like Posts: 222 Settling in
    Hi Tweety,

    Sorry to hear your mum is having problems with her employer.

    As the CAB says, employers do have the legal right to amend contracts - including reducing hours worked and employment status. However, there are certain things your mum can do if she is unhappy with this situation. DirectGov has a good explanation of her options, and has others have said, ACAS has an excellent helpline that will be able to provide individual advice. You can call them on 08457 47 47 47.

    If you feel your mum's contract is being changed to force her out of her job, then this could be "constructive dismissal", which is where an employer makes it impossible for an employee to continue to work in order to get rid of them. Again ACAS can advise you on your options, but it may mean going to an employment tribunal.

    Finally, your mum's employer can not expect her to work unpaid overtime if she is on minimum wage. Minimum Wage has to include all hours worked, so any unpaid overtime would have to be included in that. Again, ACAS should be able to advise you.

    Even if your mum hasn't signed her contract, continuing to work there can imply that she accepts it. She has to tell her employers, in writing, that she is unhappy with the new contract and she is continuing to work under protest.

    I hope all this helps. Let us know how it progresses with your mum.

    Best wishes,



    Olly
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thankyou Olly, my parner found that too, why didn't CAB tell her that? Not much help at all from them!
    The person she went to see seemed to have a chip on thier shoulder, and if thats the case they shouldnt be working for CAB as they are meant to be there to help people.
    Well shes in a right state and is going to her GP today as she already has bad high bp pressure and is getting worse.
    I am hoping they sign her off work for a while until we can sort out what she does next.
    Will probably get her to ring acas for advice i think.
    Thanks for the link, its really helpful.
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