My wife (a Lab Technician in a school) was initially employed without any formal employment contract (let alone employee’s handbook or T&Cs).

A new Director has now taken to issuing piece-meal documents every month or two – the latest of which is called ‘Absence due to Sickness or Injury’.

Leaving aside the extremely ungenerous terms of what is presumably intended to be the school’s OSP scheme, I have two basic questions:

1. the page is accompanied by a statement that the terms (unilaterally) “come into effect from today” – and requests signature to indicate understanding of the terms. Can new T&Cs be introduced without consultation? And what is the employee’s position if she refuses to sign for them?

2. the T&Cs include the phrase “this is not a contractual right and remains at the discretion of the Head”. How can an OSP policy be non-contractual? And, if it is discretionary, is this not likely to be discriminatory if the benefits are withheld from any employee due to the Head’s discretion?

Can anyone provide guidance on tackling these issues in a non-unionised environment?
Hugo Fair