Employer attempting to change contract while on furlough.

My Daughter has been working for the same small company for the last five years, covering three evenings a week (18 hours). Her and a colleague have now been put on furlough even though the Day staff have only had their hours reduced.
She has since received a new Contract by E-Mail, asking her to print it off, sign it and return it to the company. To me it looks like a 'Zero hours Contract'. She would be called into work as and when required.
Basically, my question is:
Is this legal or could the company just be trying an easy way to force the evening team to leave?

Replies

  • IllusionaryIllusionary Forumite
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    Her employer can't unilaterally enforce a contractual change, it has to be by agreement. However, there may be a risk of redundancy if the change isn't agreed to.
  • yksiyksi Forumite
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    It's legal for them to ask but she does not have to agree to the change. She can just ignore it or if she has already acknowledged receipt she can state that she prefers to remain furloughed on her 18h per week and receive the 80% pay until she is able to return to her regular hours. If she remains furloughed she CANNOT work days for them or do any work for them at all, either paid or volunteer.
  • edited 31 March 2020 at 10:01PM
    Jeremy535897Jeremy535897 Forumite
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    edited 31 March 2020 at 10:01PM
    It's unusual. The advice to employers on furloughing employees states that they need to write to their employees and get their agreement first. Normally employers vary the terms of employment at the same time (for example to reduce pay to the amount that will be refunded by the Government).  If they have already furloughed her, why do they expect her to sign it? I would be suspicious like you, but remember they can make her redundant while on furlough, which they might do if she objected. She might be entitled to five weeks redundancy pay based on her part time earnings (precise amount depends on years of service and age)..
  • GalloglassGalloglass Forumite
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    The advice to employers on furloughing employees states that they need to write to their employees and get their agreement first.
    The email is just a means of confirming by acceptance a contract variation. She doesn't need to sign but is she stays at home and accepts pay, then she has agreed ("by performance")

    A Job Retention Scheme is designed to avoid redundancies but the redundancy choice is 2 both ways. After 4 weeks on the new terms, the employee can ask for redundancy on the old terms. Check ACAS

    Climbed the ladder to success in life? Take that ladder and lend it to someone less fortunate.

  • luzannemachiatoluzannemachiato Forumite
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    When the lockdown started I was working part time. While on furlough the company made a restructure and changed my contract to full time thinking that I would start as full time straightaway after the furlough but they kept paying me as part time since that was my salary before the lockdown. I'm still on furlough but the company has notified me I'm being redundant. Will my redundancy be based on my part time payments or in my full time contract?
  • Jeremy535897Jeremy535897 Forumite
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    The normal rule is that redundancy is calculated on actual pay in the 12 weeks prior to redundancy. However, on 30 July new rules were introduced that say that you do the calculation differently. The precise method varies depending on whether your contract is for a number of hours or not, and whether remuneration varies with hours worked or the time of work. The rules are here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/814/made

    It may therefore be that your redundancy pay is based on more remuneration than you received, but the precise wording of your contract will be important.
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