Employing part-time workers

Changing an employee's working hours


At some point, you may want to change the hours a worker works perhaps as a result of changing business needs or demands.

Can an employer change an employee's working hours?

A change to a worker's working hours amounts to a change to their terms and conditions of employment. As such, you need the worker to agree to any changes. See how to change an employee's terms of employment.

Requesting a change to working hours

Before requesting a change to a worker's working hours, you should look at the individual circumstances of the worker. For example, a change from part-time to full-time working may affect their caring arrangements, while a reduction in hours may cause them financial problems.

You should notify the worker of your proposed changes to their working hours as soon as possible and explain to them why these alterations are necessary. If you do this, they may be more willing to consider and agree to your plans.

You should then consult with the worker and/or their representatives to reach an agreement. See how to inform and consult your employees.

Worker refuses the change to working hours

If the worker refuses to agree to your proposed change in hours, you could terminate the whole contract and offer employment on the revised terms.

However, this amounts to a dismissal - and could potentially be unfair. Therefore, you need to: