We have had a number of queries into the office in the last few days about changes in working hours and days for employees. If an employee requests a change the employer is required to consider and review the request. It may not always be possible to facilitate the request from the employee and this should be communicated back to the employee with the rationale for same. Employees making requests should put the request in writing and the employer should respond in writing. Where there is an agreement the following, as relevant, should be outlined in the addendum.
It is important that if there is an agreement between employer and employee about a change in days of work, hours of work that this is formally documented through an addendum to the contract. In the first instance a meeting with the employee is advisable so that the various elements can be discussed and documented and signed off so that everyone is clear. This can then form the basis of the addendum to the contract.
The addendum should confirm whether this change is temporary for a short basis perhaps to deal with a family emergency [usually no more than 2/3 weeks] or if longer term than a fixed term basis from x date to x date or it may be agreed as a permanent change.
If fixed term change then the addendum should confirm that the employee will revert back to the original hours of work, days, rate of pay, etc at the end of this period unless there has been further agreement to the requested changes.
If a permanent change this should also be confirmed that the change is permanent for example from part time to full time so that the employee understands that if they wished to work part time again they would have to request a change from the employer or apply for a part time position that may be advertised. In other words, there is no automatic entitlement to revert back.
A change in working hours or days may also impact on remuneration if reduced or increased and this should be reflected in the addendum to the contract.
Changes may also impact on annual leave and this too should be referenced in the addendum.
The addendum should be issued in duplicate with the employer signing both and issuing to the employee to sign a copy and return to the employer for placement on the employee’s personnel file.