If an employment agreement has the employee’s hours of work, then an employer can’t change them without the employee’s agreement. If the employment agreement says that an employer can change the hours of work, the employer still has to act fairly and reasonably before they do.

If an employee thinks that the change to their hours is disadvantaging them and that the process the employer followed was unfair or there were no genuine reasons for changing the hours of work, an employee should first try to resolve the issue with their employer.

In some situations (such as genuine financial, commercial or economic problems, or genuine restructuring of the business), cutting back on an employee’s hours may be put forward as an alternative to redundancy. In these situations the employer must follow the usual process for organisational change, which includes giving the employee a fair opportunity to consider and respond to the proposed change.

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Penny Varley

Payroll Administrator