There may be times when it becomes essential for an employer to change the terms and conditions of an employee’s employment contract, or to change collectively the terms and conditions of all the employee’s contracts. This may be due to a change in the economic environment, a restructuring, a change of location or other changes to laws and regulations.

Changes may apply, for example, to rates of pay, hours of work, duties and responsibilities or the location of the workplace. It is possible for an employer to change terms and conditions of an employment contract. However, that cannot be done without negotiation and agreement with the employee individually or employees collectively, through a union, elected representatives or employee association.

It is vital to check what is in the original documents and consult as far as possible on any potential changes to be made. Imposing changes without consultation could result in claims of constructive dismissal from employees, as well as the possibility of being taken to the LRC or EAT or claims for damages in a civil court. In this situation it is highly recommended that advice is sought by the employer as soon as possible to ensure due process is followed.