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Changing Terms of Conditions of Employment

We have recently assisted a national manufacturer of component to the double glazing industry in altering the terms and conditions in respect of working hours for their warehouse distribution staff.

The business had seen a significant amount of growth over the last few years. In response to this and in order to implement efficiency savings, they had introduced a bar coding system on all products coming into and then being distributed out from its warehouse centre.

As a result, it meant re-examining the historic two shift system (early morning and day shift) that it had operated within the warehouse. There was now a requirement to operate at least a three shift system across the working day with a greater emphasis on the late shift as they would be required to bar code products in the evening ready for early morning deliveries.

The initial alternating three shift system met some resistance. The historic two shift pattern had been in place for many years and some of the staff had consequently arranged personal commitments (e.g. child care responsibility) around that shift pattern.

With our assistance, the employer has managed to implement the rotating three shift pattern for the employees without any dramatic fall out. We examined the employment contract to see if there was a flexibility clause for the warehouse staff. A detailed analysis of the business case for the implementation of the rotating three shift pattern was conducted so that all the consequential efficiency/cost savings could be identified and factored into a PowerPoint presentation to staff. A detailed group and individual consultation exercise was carried out. We further assisted with monitoring and dealing with objections that came out of the consultation process.

The end result was that, without any fall out, the client was able to implement the desired change in the shift pattern which was done with close assistance from Irwin Mitchell.

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