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Reduced hours no formal notice

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by Teapot345, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. Teapot345

    Teapot345 New commenter

    Can school reduce my contracted hours without giving formal notice?

    - what does formal notice actually mean?

    - how much formal notice do they need to give me (if I'm under burgundy book on a fixed term 1 year contract)?

    - what happens if they don't give me formal notice and go ahead regardless?

  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Unless your contract expressly states that the employer can unilaterally reduce your contracted hours then the school cannot do what it has done. I assume you are a teacher. Standard teachers' contracts, even fixed term ones, do not allow a school to do this. Burgundy Book has no provision that would allow a school to do this, with or without notice. (If the contract allowed the employer to reduce your hours "formal notice" would just mean the employer had to tell you of the change in writing X days/weeks before the change came into effect.)

    It's not impossible for an employer to reduce someone's hours but it would require a change in their contract of employment. There are legal procedures an employer has to go through to do that. They can't just email you and tell you you are working fewer days from next week.

    See this link to Citizens Advice which discusses the issue generally.


    Consult your union asap for help.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
    Teapot345 and Stiltskin like this.
  3. Teapot345

    Teapot345 New commenter

    OK thanks and yes I'm a teacher.

    They suggested in Feb that it might be a possibility and asked how I felt about it (I wasn't keen) but then they never followed it up and I never agreed to it. No email, no verbal, nada.

    It just seems to have happened regardless and it's only because I checked my payslip that I noticed!

    I'll get onto my union ASAP.
  4. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Yes, union immediately.

    Maybe they think that the conversation you had in February was you agreeing to it.

    If they've reduced your pay in June surely they would also have to have revised your timetable so that you actually worked fewer days surely!

    It's possible this is just a misunderstanding in the HR/payroll department. They knew it was being discussed and wrongly thought it had been agreed. Before getting the union actively involved send a polite email to HR saying that there is an error in your payslip which has reduced your pay from £X to £Y but you have been working the same hours as previously. Please can they pay the balance to you immediately. And see what they say.
    Teapot345, strawbs and Stiltskin like this.
  5. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    If you are part time, say 0.6, then sometimes the contract states that your hours can vary (say from 0.5 to 0.7 or similar.)
    strawbs likes this.
  6. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    yes that's very common practice - so one year you might get 0.6 and the next 0.5. Not heard of it happening MID-year though!
  7. Teapot345

    Teapot345 New commenter

    I am on a full time contract, well at least I was and should be!! I have queried why payslip was wrong saying I'm sure it was just an error, (but still contacted union anyway as believe they'll take a few days to reply as they're only contactable by email still due to covid).
    Piranha likes this.

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