If changes are agreed - Changes to your contract

If changes are agreed

If a contract change has been agreed between you, your employer and any relevant representatives, your employer should:

  • make sure everyone is clear about the details, such as how and when the changes will take effect and if it's a temporary or permanent change
  • monitor how the changes are working for an appropriate period of time

Putting changes in writing

If changes are made to your main terms of employment, your employer must put them in writing. For example, they might send you a letter or email.

It's a good idea for them to put all contract changes in writing. This helps to make sure everyone is clear about what is changing so there is less chance of misunderstandings or disagreements.

Your employer might choose to update your written statement of employment particulars but they do not have to. This is a written document summarising the main terms and conditions of your employment.

If a change only affects you, your employer must write to you individually.

If a change affects other people, your employer may not have to write to everyone individually. This applies when the change is about something that's in a document everyone can access, for example in a policy. They can put the changes in writing for the whole group at the same time, for example in a group email.

By law, your employer must put a change in writing within 1 month of the change.

Understanding how the change affects you

Your employer should make sure you are clear about how the change affects you.

They should explain to you details such as:

  • what the change is
  • why it has been introduced
  • when and how it will take effect
  • for how long it will last, if it's a temporary change
  • what’s expected of you
  • who you should talk with if you have any questions or concerns

If your employer negotiated the change with employee representatives, they might both write to you about it. For example, to explain to everyone affected that employee representatives have influenced and support the change.

Checking the changes

When your employer has put the changes in writing, you should:

  • check the changes are accurate
  • let them know if you have any questions or concerns

If a change affects many employees who work across different teams or locations, it's a good idea to check if there is one person or department handling all the questions.

After changes have been introduced

Your employer should continue to communicate with you and other employees for an appropriate period, to check:

  • if the changes are working as expected
  • if the changes are being applied consistently and fairly
  • how you and anyone else affected are adapting to the changes
  • if you have any other issues or concerns

If you have any ongoing concerns or suggestions, you should raise these with your employer. It might also be useful to talk to a trade union or other employee representative if you have one.

If you're finding a period of change difficult

Changes to terms and conditions can sometimes affect the way people feel emotionally, mentally and physically.

If you need more support, you should consider:

  • talking to any trained members of staff, for example a mental health first aider or health and wellbeing representative
  • using your organisation's employee assistance programme (EAP), if there's one available
  • talking to your trade union representative

Find out more about supporting mental health at work

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