Varying the Terms of a Contract

25th March 2011
Varying the Terms of a Contract image

Varying the Terms of a Contract

The recent decision of the EAT in Morgan –v- Network Europe Group Limited is a useful case for businesses to take note when trying to vary the terms and conditions of an employee’s contract of employment.

In this case the employer issued a new handbook to its staff, which contained a new “lay-off” clause.  The employee signed a form to acknowledge receipt of the new handbook.

Initially the Tribunal held that the employee was bound by the new “lay-off” clause and by the handbook so far as it amended his contract of employment.  However the EAT reversed this decision.  Since the employee had not signed a new contract with the new “lay-off” clause stated therein, there had been no agreed variation of the contract of employment.  The EAT pointed out that had the handbook been accompanied by a new contract with the new “lay-off” clause and duly signed by the employee, then the variation would have been binding.

Daven Naghen, head of our Employment Team added:-

“The moral of the story is that generally speaking if an employer wants to amend an employee’s contract then the employer should get the employee to sign a new contract with the variation. Failing which there is a real risk that the variation will not be binding, especially if the variation does not necessarily have immediate effect.”

If you want advice on terms and conditions of employment for your staff, and/or amending the same then please contact Daven Naghen on daven.naghen@maplessolicitors.com or 01775 722261.


Dementia Friends image

Dementia Friends

Maples Solicitors are proud to announce that they have now joined to become Dementia Friends which is an Alzheimer’s Society initiative.

The private client department of Maples Solicitors prepare Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney on a regular basis and this often involves dealing with clients who are suffering from dementia. The private client team pride themselves on spending as much time as is necessary to assist all of their clients, but those suffering from dementia often require additional assistance and time to ensure that they have fully understood the legal documentation that they are creating. The private client department are regularly complimented on the way they deal with such clients, whether this be explaining things to them in a clear and uncomplicated manner, spending time with them or putting them at ease.

It is a misconception that anyone suffering from dementia cannot make a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney. Only if someone lacks sufficient mental capacity are they unable to make such a document. It is therefore vitally important upon any diagnosis of dementia that legal advice is taken as soon as possible to make sure that your affairs are in order so that it is easier for your family to deal with your affairs if you are unable to do so yourself.

To become Dementia Friends, Maples Solicitors have pledged to develop their understanding of dementia and continue assisting clients suffering from dementia with their legal affairs in a respectful, friendly and efficient way that is not daunting making the process as easy as possible.

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