Staff in various departments at my place of employment, on print and electronic media, are being expected to change their working patterns soon.

We already have very ‘open ended’ contracts which specify that a great deal of flexibility is required within our 75-hour working fortnight.

Staff are now asking me, as their representative, whether there is a formal period in employment law that the company must provide before it can introduce these latest changes to working patterns/rotas.

In the past some changes have been introduced after consultation, and even some short-term financial compensation, while at other times changes have brought in almost overnight at department head level with no word from senior managers and requiring changes to ‘published’ rotas.

There seem to be two main points here:

1/ In some cases staff are not opposed to the changes, as they will not worsen their working conditions, but want to make sure that they do not waive a consultation period in the future by accepting change now without undergoing a consultation period. Is this the case?

2/ And, do staff who feel changes will badly affect them have the right to block these moves until consultation has been carried out?


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