This guide provides in depth direction on writing a grievance about for unauthorised changes to your employment contract. It shows you how to escalate breaches of policy and employment law, strategies and issues of limitation that you need to be aware of.
What is a grievance?
The ACAS Code defines grievances as “concerns, problems or complaints that employees raise with their employers”. You can raise a grievance about things like your terms and conditions of employment, health and safety, workplace relationships, new working practices, organisational changes, equality, discrimination, bullying and harassment, and whistleblowing. Always try to resolve problems informally before raising a grievance.
Unauthorised changes to your employment contract
This grievance is about the situation where your employer proposes to make changes to your contract, or imposes changes without your permission, or without notifying you. In such a situation, your employer can make changes to particular terms in the contract, or remove the old contract entirely, and replace it with a new one. If your employer has also taken money from your wages without permission, See: How to write a grievance about unauthorised deductions from your wages.
There are three ways in which employers usually carry out these changes as follows;
- Propose a change and leave it for you to object. If you don’t object, then you are deemed to have accepted the change through acquiescence. This is sometimes sneaked in by re-issuing a section of an employment contract, updating the employment contract or re- issuing a section 1 statement of employment particulars.
- Serve notice of the termination of the existing contract and then immediately re-engage you on the new terms.
- Dismiss all relevant employees and then invite you to reapply for your jobs.
In order for you to effectively resist these changes, you need to have a basic understanding of employment contracts, what the law allows your employer to do your rights and the options available to you. No matter how you choose to resolve the matter, in this sort of employment relationship problem you should always start by raising a formal grievance. This guide includes explanations of current relevant case law and legal terms. It provides you with the tools to raise an effective grievance about unauthorised changes to your employment contract.