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Stuart Lauchlan

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Ask the expert: Adjusting an offer letter to reflect a change in Ts & Cs

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Question

 
One of the members of staff that I manage is currently on a three day a week permanent contract (in the form of an offer letter). We have found the resources to increase this by an extra two days a week, but only for a time limited period (one year) and related to a specific piece of work.
 
We have no HR person in the office and I have been asked to adjust the normal offer letter to reflect this change, but I have no idea about how to do this in the correct way. Can you provide me with any advice?
 
Answer
 
I don’t think this needs to be complicated!  I think the key thing is to provide something in writing to the employee confirming what has been agreed – this needs to state the time period for which the increased days’ work will apply, and also confirm for the employee the effect of this increase in hours over this period, as it will presumably lead to an increased salary, holiday entitlement and possibly sick pay etc.  
 
It is probably sensible to confirm what will happen at the end of the temporary period, and make sure the employee is aware that at that point in time their hours, and benefits, will revert to those set out in their original or current offer letter.
 
I would, for good practice, issue the employee with two copies of this amendment letter and ask them to sign one and return it to you for your records, to acknowledge their agreement to these arrangements – just to avoid a dispute at the time you want to reduce their hours again!
 
Esther Smith, partner at Thomas Eggar LLP.
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Thank you.