How can I change an employee's terms of employment?

Guide to how to approach a variation in contracts of employment. It needs to be done right or you may face employment tribunal claims.

Sometimes you'll want to change the terms and conditions of an employee's contract. As a general rule, you must agree these changes with the employee. For this reason, you should put them in writing and have the employee sign to demonstrate their consent.

If the changes involve the essential terms included in their statement of terms and conditions, you must give a further statement to the employee containing particulars of the changes. Our document called 'Statement of changes in terms of employment' is designed specifically for this purpose.

Start your 'Statement of changes in terms of employment' now

In the 'Statement of changes in terms of employment' document you can specify changes to the contractual terms outlined in the employee's original employment contract, such as hours worked, salary and holiday entitlement. Changes to the employee's job title and job description should also be specified in the document, as should any alterations to their hours of employment. Additionally, if the employee's place of work changes, this will need to be recorded.

Once complete, the employer must send the 'Statement of changes in terms of employment' to the employee no later than one month after the change(s). The employer should draft two copies of this document. The first statement, which is signed only by the employer, must be retained by the employee for his or her personal reference. The second statement must be signed by both the employer and employee and must be retained by the employer for future reference.

The information on this page applies to England and Wales only.

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