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Can i refuse hours increase

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Employment, Jobseeking & Training
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Pickleyo8Pickleyo8 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Employment, Jobseeking & Training
I am 18 about to start a seasonal job. In my contract it states that my contracted hours are 12 hours a week (no days/times specified), that my normal week is a 2 day week, but that the employer has the right to increase/decrease/change my hours with reasonable notice.

Can I refuse a change in hours? I am flexible in terms of which hours and can cover absences etc occasionally, but have personal responsibilities at home which means the amount of hours a week I can work is limited. I can only really work 3 days a week/18 hours a week max. As it is seasonal, it is highly likely they will ask my to increase my hours over summer holiday period.

Do i have a right to refuse either random rota hours changes or permanent contracted hours increases? If i refuse can they fire me or will i likely be allowed to continue my usual contracted hours?
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Replies

  • Rainbowgirl84Rainbowgirl84 Forumite
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    They can fire you.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    They can fire you, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

    ATM you have a contract for 12 hours, over 2 days. My advice would be to start, get stuck in, do the best job you can, and see if you can get to know how things work for your colleagues. Are there constant moans about HAVING to work extra shifts at short notice? Is everyone working twice the days / hours they're contracted to? How much notice do you get of your shifts / shift changes?

    Once you're known as a good worker is the time to try to make your manager aware of your situation. They don't have to care, and your home responsibilities aren't their concern, but a decent employer will know that just firing someone because they can't (or even won't) work an extra shift with very little notice won't actually help their staffing problems.

    And if they're not a decent employer, start looking elsewhere as soon as you realise that ...
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  • TELLIT01TELLIT01 Forumite
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    The contract says that hours / days can be changed at reasonable notice, and for seasonal work that doesn't seem unreasonable. Of course you can refuse to change your work pattern and, of course, they can decide to dispense with your services.
  • ACGACG Forumite
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    My understanding is that if your contract is for 12 hours a week, they have to pay you for 12 hours even if you are not needed?

    If you have been there for less than 2 years, they can dismiss you for any reason - literally something as minor as the colour of your socks.

    Most contracts have some sort of caveat in there for amending hours, very few call on it, especially if they have a few embers of staff, you will probably find some want the extra hours. But I suppose the fact it is in there means it can happen.
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  • DCFC79DCFC79 Forumite
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    Why not just take the job, you don't know what will happen in terms of how many extra hours you could be asked to work.
  • shortcrustshortcrust Forumite
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    Another vote here for take the job and see what happens. You may never be asked to do extra shifts, and if you are they might be reasonable when you say you can't do it. There might be other people there who are always keen to hoover up extra hours.

    Yes they could show you the door if you don’t do the hours they ask, but if it got to that point you'd be leaving a job that had turned into something you don’t want anyway so would it be a terrible loss?

    Don’t make a fuss about it until it happens. Saying you can do x, y and z on your first day isn’t a good look unless it's because you're looking after kids, going for dialysis etc.
  • jonnygee2jonnygee2 Forumite
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    Are you male or female? Are your responsibilities to do with childcare?

    As your contract says hours could be raised, then raising the hours is obviously not a breach of contract. However in many cases it could be considered unfair dismissal.

    Still, that's last resort, not something you really want to get into in a part time summer job. Mostly, employment should be a two way relationship based on trust and mutual benefit.

    For me the most obvious next step would just be to mention to them you've noticed the contract says that and ask how likely it would be. After all if it's a summer job, it may not be worth continuing if its likely the relationship will break down in the next couple of months
  • steampoweredsteampowered Forumite
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    Another vote for taking the job.

    It is very normal for students to be doing fairly casual jobs, and to get asked whether you want to do extra shifts or not.

    If you are offered extra shifts and you don't want them, simply decline.
  • Thanks everyone
    I have taken it, i just wanted to know where i stand with my rights, it seems they are reasonable about my situation
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    jonnygee2 wrote: »
    Are you male or female? Are your responsibilities to do with childcare?
    I think those questions are all but irrelevant. They would only come into play if the OP was in a minority, and their 'minority' was being treated differently to the majority. But it could still be a tough one to prove.

    And childcare does not give carte blanche to do what suits you work-wise, nor does it trump caring for elderly relatives / other family members.

    What you do with your spare time and why you can't work more of it isn't actually your employer's concern or business. As I said, a decent employer won't fire someone for not being able to increase hours at the drop of a hat, but they don't have to care or take your reasons into account.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: TWO adult cardigans, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees, 2 sets of handwarmers, 1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 3 balaclavas, multiple hats and poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
    Current projects: pink balaclava (for myself), seaman's hat, about to start another cardigan!
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