When varying on-call rotas what consultation period should be applied?

Posted in : Seamus Says - Employment Law Discussion on 1 June 2018
Seamus McGranaghan
O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors
Issues covered:

When changing on-call rotas to include a wider group of people, what level of consultation would be advisable? Any change impacts on approximately 60 people across the country?

Scott: So, presumably that's a variation to terms that would fit into the collective redundancy requirements and so it would be a 30-day period, I think, wouldn't it?

Seamus: It would've thought 30-day period. Obviously, you're checking if there are trade unions involved and you're appropriately consulting with the trade unions or elective, or elected representatives and things like that as well. It is a variation to the terms and conditions of employment so you're looking at getting agreement in relation to and anything you're looking to vary. 30 days would be the period.

Scott: Again, I suppose the scope is who you consult with. If it impacts on every individual, as this will because their on-call rotas going to change, I think everybody has to be involved. It's not just a question you can just go into trade unions, which you might have to do if there's a trade union.

Seamus: Yeah. There might be.

Scott: This is personal stuff. If I'm not going to be on call every other weekend as opposed to once a month, I really want a say in that.

Seamus: Of course, you do. Yeah. It might not be as bad as that and it may work better for those that are on the existing rota and there's got to be some changes in that respect. Again, consultation is all about presentation. Where employees are losing something, they tend not to want to agree unless they're getting something back. It tends to focus the mind of the employer as well.

Scott: Just to follow up on that question, it doesn't particularly matter if it's in the terms and conditions where it would be actually a contractual change or if it's in the job description because it would probably fall on part of the terms and conditions of employment anyway. And if it's being practiced...

Seamus: It's a customer practice, absolutely. Yeah. If the customer practice is built up and it's the expectation of the employee, if you're making amendments to that.

Scott: It's not necessarily a case where we were chatting about this, the employer could change the terms of agreements with agreements. It's all very well consulting. But consultation means with a view to reach an agreement. And if I have a contractual entitlement to something, I would expect something in return in order to agree to that change. So good luck whoever you are.

Seamus: There's a good LRA policy on variational terms and conditions of employment - a very useful document, and it really does contain everything that you need to know.


This article is correct at 01/06/2018

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Seamus McGranaghan
O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors

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