Temporary Changes to contracts

Changes to Contracts - Covid-19 Lockdown.

 

We have thought to offer some advice that we are being requested due to Covid-19 and businesses not being able to open.

Just to confirm firstly that there has been no lifting/removal of the employment legislation and this remains in place as usual – despite these very unusual times – therefore employers will need to take all reasonable steps to follow a process if:

 

1.The business is closing and contracts are being closed;

2. The business is seeking to make changes to existing contracts eg:

  • Reduce wages/salary
  • Request unpaid leave is put in place
  • Request annual leave is taken during this time
  • Reduce working hours

 

We would encourage both employers and employees to be open and honest with each other, be clear about the difficulties that the company may be faced and at this point try to work with each other to reach an agreement to make temporary changes to the contract.

Presenting changes with no previous discussion or advance warning could result in a Tribunal claim being lodged against the employer.

Under the employment legislation the Tribunal are required to consider the size and administrative resources available to the employer, therefore they will look at how reasonable the actions taken were in these exceptional circumstances.

 

Stay safe.

8 April 2020

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