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Hours cut but taking on new staff

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  • Hours cut but taking on new staff

    Ive been in the same retail job now for over five years. My contract is for eight hours a week but ive continually done around thirty hours since I started. The only time it drops is in January and February when trade is slow. When it does drop it never falls below 20 hours and increases back to thirty hours when the company allocate more hours to the store.This year the hours dropped as expected, the company have allocated more hours as they do every year, but this time my hours have not gone back up. Management say they donít have the hours; yet, they are taking on new staff.

    Ive asked how can they take on new staff when they havenít got the hours to give existing staff, and they cant really answer.I cant force them to give me the hours, but are they legally obligated to give existing employees the hours before taking on new staff?

    Even though my contract is for eight hours a week, would the fact that my average hours a week over the last five years have been between 25 and 30 be an implied contract under customs and practices?
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  • #2
    Is is probably being seen by your employer that so long as they are giving staff the hours set out in their respective contracts of employment they are not obliged to offer you extra hours or overtime rather than take on new staff.

    There is no fixed time limit after which something is definitely part of the contract, it would be up to an Employment Tribunal to decide if the time period has been sufficient to render the extra hours you have been doing over the last five years as being permanent under "custom and practice" i.e. the extra hours becomes a term of your contract, that your employer cannot change without consulting with you first. In order for an entitlement to become established by custom and practice, it must:

    1.Be established
    2.Be reasonable
    3.Be notorious i.e. well-known and expected to be received
    4.Be certain

    If you believe that the extra hours over the 5 year period have become an implied term of your contract, then you would need to raise a grievance in regard to them now recruiting additional staff. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of this process then your only other course of action would be to bring an Employment Tribunal claim for a breach of an implied term of the contract.
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