Areas of Law / Employment

Our employment contracts state that we are entitled to 25 days’ sick leave with pay a year. They are now proposing that in future we will only get paid sick leave if we spend the time in hospital. New staff have to agree to this, but we have refused. Can they force this change on us?

Possibly, but they must follow the correct procedure. In some circumstances your employer may be able to make this change by terminating the contracts of all staff on reasonable notice, offering you new contracts on the new terms to take their place. Provided your employer was able to satisfy an employment tribunal that they have a reasonable basis for their actions, you would be unlikely to have an unfair dismissal claim. You may be offered a sweetener, such as extra holidays, to sign the new agreement.

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