A friend has received notification on 23 October that the organisation may reduce working hours and pay. He is expected to respond to this by 31 October. Is this time period fair for what is effectively a change to terms and conditions?
The criteria that has been outlined so far is that the branches will be assessed against the top 10 performing branches in 2007-2008. This does not seem fair criteria to apply as the industry is in a worse situation now than it was then. The branch has already undergone redundancy so that they have the minimum number of staff to run the branch possible. The branch will not shut but 1-2 people will not work each day. This could lead to a downward spiral as customer service will go down and it will be even more difficult to get quotations etc done.
From a HR point of view he has been given a very vague letter to sign. The letter is not even addressed to him. A list of employees that have signed and not signed the letter will then be sent to head office. This could be interpreted as an implied threat that if they don’t sign there may be consequences.
Also, the reduction in pay does not reconcile with the reduction in working hours. Although he is contracted to work every Saturday in 3 he has been working at least every other Saturday and often every Saturday. If he is asked not work 1 day there will be a 10% reduction and 2 days a 20% reduction.
Furthermore, he is considering applying for part time work or even doing some training to use the time productively. However, the company is proposing an ad-hoc approach so that he will not have a consistent day when he is off – is this fair? Does he have any rights in this process?

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