An employee (on a permanent employment contract for past 2 years) has always worked on a 2 shift arrangement on Monday (7 hour shift) & Tuesday (7 hour shift) only each week since she commenced with the company. The company, in order to cover its shift requirements for a two week period, now wants the employee to a) increase the number of shifts and b) for the employee to work days other than Monday and Tuesday. It is known that the employee works for another company (non-competing) for some other days each week. There are other employees (both male and female) who work shift arrangements with the company and they generally work between 5 to 7 shifts per week and are available all days. The company wants to commence discussions with the employee to increase the number of shifts that she can undertake and also to be able to do additional shifts on days other than Monday and Tuesday. a) What approach would you recommend? b) What advice would you suggest if the employee refused to undertake the planned new arrangement? c) Can the company go as far as to terminate the employment contract if the employee refused to co-operate?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 2 July 2013
Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

When an employer considers making changes to an employee’s terms and conditions of employment, from a legal and practical perspective, obtaining the consent of the employee is the simplest option for employers. This will obviously not be a problem if the change is to the employee’s benefit but clearly it may prove more difficult where the change is detrimental to the employee.

It is always advisable to get the employee to confirm his/her consent in writing to avoid any scope for disagreement in the future. There are many practical ways of trying to get employees to agree to a change such as linking it to a pay rise or other benefit.

If the employee refuses to agree to changes, the

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox

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