Varying Contractual Rights: Reducing Pay and/or Hours
If there is no contractual right to reduce hours and/or pay, if an employer takes the decision to vary the contract without agreement from the employer, this is a unilateral variation and will constitute a breach of contract.
There are exceptional circumstances where there can be an implied variation through something that has happened before usually as a result of custom and practice.
There can also be reservations within a contract providing a general right to make variations, but these would not give an employer authority to just change contractual rights which have a detriment on the employee.
If there is no right to variation and an employer does so unilaterally then this could mean a potential claim by the employee for Unlawful deductions / breach of contract and/or constructive dismissal if they resign in response and have 2 years’ service.
Contact us if you need advice in regard to contractual rights