Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Unilateral change to employment contract

A woman looking a files

Sometimes it is necessary to change a member of staff's contract. Normally schools and colleges will seek to change contracts by consent, but this is not always possible.

In the case of disagreements, ACAS may provide a member of staff with a letter that can be sent to the employer saying that the employee does not accept the change of contract and is working to it under protest while reserving the right to sue.

An employee can then do one of four things: acquiesce with the change; refuse to acquiesce and compel the employer to dismiss him; resign and claim constructive dismissal; or 'stand and sue'.

Staff cannot pick and mix which bits of a contract they work to. If a contract changes, they must make their choice of action from one of those four and stick to it.

If this situation occurs, it is important to be closely guided by a personnel adviser; particularly if a member of staff decides on the 'stand and sue' option.

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