My employer has sent me a message while I’m on holiday to say that she’s giving me a month’s notice to reduce the number of hours I do weekly. She is using three weeks of the time I’m away as part of the notice period. Can she do this?
There are a number of points that need to be considered when employers request to change the number of working hours.
Firstly, this would depend on what is written in your contract of employment,which should also include how much notice should be given for such changes.
Are they asking you to reduce hours that you regularly work or are they part of an overtime agreement or informal flexible working arrangement? If they are legally part of your contract then you would need to be in agreement of any change. Or are you on a zero hours/ casual contract?
You will also need to see if this is a fair request. What are the reasons for the reduction? Is this an alternative to redundancy?
Do you agree to the change? If you agree to this one month’s written notice will need to be given, and it would depend on when they gave you the notice of the change. Is it before you went on holiday?
I would advise if you are on holiday for this period then it would be unfair to include this in the notice, as it doesn’t allow you to find alternative work (if you wish to do so). It would be worth speaking to your HR department and checking your contract.