Is it possible for a company to enforce a change to an employee’s terms and conditions of employment? Specifically in regards to benefits offered.

For example, we took a number of employees under TUPE who are entitled to a paid lunch break. To maintain parity, all new employees in the same discipline have had their lunch break included as part of their working hours in their contracts.

Our HR department are now claiming that these employees are not entitled to paid lunch and should only claim for hours worked excluding lunch. In one case they have issued a new contract to an employee (who has worked under these T’s & C’s for over 2 years) which has reduced her hours to reflect a non-payment of lunch. We have advised her not to sign this new contract.

Are we right to do so or are our HR department entitled to insist on this change?

Adam Hill