Protests over the new junior doctors contract

Junior Doctors contract: What can employers learn from the dispute?


As the junior doctors contract dispute rumbles on, the government has now moved to impose a new contract on junior doctors.

The dispute has highlighted the minefield that is changing contracts of employment. However, there are times when changes need to be made to an employeeĆ¢??s contract. This could be changes to an employeeĆ¢??s working patterns or removing a benefit that has become too costly to provide.

In our latest article, our expert employment law solicitors look at what employers can learn from the junior doctors contract dispute.

Avoid completely replacing the current contract

The solution of effectively dismissing an employee and re-employing them on new terms is fraught with difficulties.

If an employee does not agree to the new terms, you could be left facing an unfair dismissal claim.

Taking this approach may result in employees making it clear they do not agree to the changes and working under the new terms in protest. An employee may then be able to bring a claim for breach of contract or unlawful deduction of wages.

Employers must seek consent from employers before making changes to fundamental terms of a contract of employment.

Consult with employees before changing contracts of employment

Starting a process of negotiation with employeeĆ¢??s before changing contracts of employment is vital. Explaining the reason the business needs to make the changes may help you secure an agreement with staff.

Employees should have the opportunity to suggest alternatives, ensuring that they feel part of the decision making process.

Once an agreement has been reached, you should get confirmation of the agreement in writing to avoid disputes at a later date.

Secure well-drafted contracts of employment with LawforEmployers

It is vital for all businesses to have well-drafted contracts in place which provide for changes to terms and conditions to be made.

By speaking to the expert employment law solicitors at LawforEmployers, you can ensure your contracts of employment offer the legal protection you need.

For a free, no obligation consultation on changing contracts of employment, call us on 01282 695 400.

Or, simply complete our quick online contact form to book your free consultation today.