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NSW Normal working hours change

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by Steve1905, 11 July 2017.

  1. Steve1905

    Steve1905 Well-Known Member

    21 November 2014
    Likes Received:
    Hi All,

    I have been informed that my normal working hours may change to suit a new contract the company is signing. The hours have been stipulated in the contract by the client. The new hours will greatly affect my ability to balance my home life with my children and also affect family court orders on times I pick up my son.
    My employment contract states:

    - Ordinary hours of work are nominally 40 hours per week arranged over 5 days (Monday to Friday inclusive) with a 30 minute unpaid meal break on each day.
    - The employee may be required to work outside these hours as necessary in line with business demands at the time.
    - Salary for the role has been set to take account of these requirements, and accordingly, no additional payments apply.

    For the past 7 years I have worked on the hours of 8am to 4:30pm. I would like to think this is a "condition precedent". The new hours will be changed to 6am to 2:30pm and 9:30am to 6pm Monday to Friday on a rotating basis.
    Also with the new contract comes cost cutting and staff reductions. The company have stated there will be no redundancies. I can see the changes being made are to force people into a performance manage situation.

    My questions are:
    - Can normal hours of work be forced?
    - Are my current conditions Condition precedent?
    - Can the changes being made for performance management be used as victimisation?

    Thanks you in advance.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Well-Known Member

    6 February 2017
    Likes Received:
    Steve I'm letting you know I am watching this thread as it is an interesting question.
    Be aware you seem to be debating over a 2 hour time change issue (either 2 hours earlier or later that you have normally started)
    To me this seems like it is reasonable for any employer to do (whatever your personal life is) BUT, I just don't know, so therefore subscribing out of interest. ;)
  3. Serge Gorval

    Serge Gorval Well-Known Member
    LawTap Verified Lawyer

    2 November 2015
    Likes Received:
    Hi Steve

    the extract from your proposed contract is quite standard/ common, however a few important considerations are:

    1. Are you an award covered employee ?
    2. if yes, then need to consider the award regarding consultation requirements for change or roster/hours but if not, then you need to refer to your current contract regarding variations. typically a unilateral variation to a contract of a material term could be viewed as a repudiation of your contract by your employer leading you to either accept or reject the repudiation. An employer cannot force you to sign a variation and if you are forced there are adverse action considerations that could be raised.
    3. another factor to consider is the overtime hours clause, per contract all hours worked are absorbed into your salary. if you are expected to work extensive overtime this should be closely examined.

    theres a few other things that come to mind but as this is a general forum not the appropriate avenue to discuss. if you need some specific advice i encourage you to get in touch to discuss. ( free consult - no obligation).
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