If an employer needs to make a change
An employer can make a change (‘variation’) to an employment contract in cases where:
- there’s something in the contract that allows the change (usually called a ‘flexibility clause’)
- the employee agrees to the change
- the employee’s representatives agree to the change (for example, a trade union)
The employer can impose changes by dismissing and rehiring employees on a new contract, although this should be a last resort.
If an employer imposes a change without following one of these processes, they might be in ‘breach of contract’ which could lead to legal action.