Asda To Be Sued Over New Employment Contracts… But Can Your Employer Change Yours?

6 November 2019

Can your employer change your work contract? Our team answer your questions…

Duncan Carson was an Asda employee who worked from 6am to midday as a baker in one of the chain's stores. Those times suited him as he was used to working mornings and he had worked for the Supermarket for 13 years. 

Asda have proposed new terms of employment across the board which include unpaid breaks, changes to night shift payments and employees being called to work on shorter notice than before. Mr Carson is not happy and neither are almost 300 employees. However, it seems that approximately 120,000 employees were content to sign the new contract and have accepted the new terms.

The Supermarket has given the 300-odd workers a week's extension to sign the new contract or their employment with Asda is officially terminated.

Whilst the frustration with the major changes is entirely understandable, it is not illegal and does not violate any of the Employment laws under the English legal system provided that proper process was followed. An employer can seek to change the terms and conditions of employment for its workers if there is a sound business reason for doing so and if they have followed process and consultation with the relevant employees. Once that has taken place, the employer can move to terminate the employment of all employees under the existing contracts and require them to enter into the new contract for the purpose of continuing their employment.

The questions remain as to whether proper process is followed and whether there is a good business reason for the changes and that is what we can help you assess so that you can consider your options fully. If you are an employee whose employer is seeking to change your terms and conditions of employment, or an employer that is considering making some changes across the board, then we are here to help and can advise you on the process and requirements necessary so please do not hesitate to contact one of our employment team members.

For help with an employment issue

Or if you have a query, contact our employment team on 01245 228141 or via e-mail.

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.