Changing an employment contract

Employees: if you want to change your contract

If you feel you want to make a change to your contract or get your contract updated, it’s best to start by talking to your employer.

When your job has changed

If your job has changed, you can ask for changes to be put in writing by your employer. For example, if you have: 

  • been doing work that is different to your original agreement
  • started a new job in the same organisation

An employer does not always have to put changes in writing, but it’s a good idea they do.

Even if you do not have anything in writing, you still have certain employment rights and protections by law, from when you started working for the employer.

When changes must be in writing 

If you’re an employee and the changes affect your contract's written document, you can ask your employer to provide an updated copy. They must provide this within a month of the changes being made. 

Asking for changes to your contract 

If you want to make small changes to your role or employment terms and conditions, you need to get agreement from your employer first. 

It’s a good idea to: 

  • talk openly about why you need the changes 
  • explain your point of view 
  • consider your employer’s point of view and why the changes might not be suitable 
  • think about any compromises you could make 
  • talk to your trade union if you have one 

In certain cases, you might have the right to ask for flexible working by law (only if you're an employee). 

When both you and your employer have agreed, it’s best to get everything in writing. If the changes affect the terms in your written document, your employer must provide an updated copy within one month. 

Your employer does not have to agree to changes, but you can keep talking with them to try and reach an agreement. 

If you have still not reached an agreement and think you want to take things further, you could: 

  • make sure you have tried everything by talking with your employer 
  • get support from your trade union 
  • check your employer is following your workplace’s internal policies 
  • consider making a formal complaint 

You can call the Acas helpline to talk through your situation with an adviser. We cannot give an opinion but can discuss your options.