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Introduction to this document

Letter confirming a reduction in hours request

Use our letter to issue to an employee once it’s been agreed they can reduce their hours from full-time to part-time work. It sets out the relevant changes to their contractual terms consequent on such a request.

Statutory provision

Section 4 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 states that where changes are made to any of the terms and conditions of employment required to be covered in the employee’s written statement of employment particulars (hours of work, salary, holidays, etc.), including those now required to be covered under the regime in force from 6 April 2020, you are obliged to give the employee a written statement containing details of the changes no later than one month after the changes take effect. It’s important to note that this doesn’t take away the need for obtaining the employee’s express consent to any detrimental contractual changes - you still, of course, need that. This is an additional statutory requirement to provide particulars of the changes in writing. Section 4 also doesn’t mean you have to issue a wholly new version of the written statement of employment particulars to the employee. A side letter detailing the changes will suffice and this is where our Letter Confirming a Reduction in Hours Request comes in.

Pro rata reductions

Where an employee requests reduced working hours and you agree to this, normally you will sit down and agree the new working hours and the revised pro rata salary but have you thought of the other associated issues such as the pro rating of annual leave? It’s important you make the appropriate pro rata reductions to all relevant benefits, such as annual leave, bonuses, commission, etc. when an employee moves from full-time to part-time work. Our letter is intended both to comply with Section 4 and to ensure you cover everything you need to on an hours reduction. It provides for the employee’s written statement of employment particulars to be amended from the effective date of the changes and it covers hours of work, salary, annual leave (including the position in relation to bank and public holidays) and overtime. With overtime, it makes clear that if the employee qualifies for overtime payments, they won’t get overtime rates until they’ve first completed the number of hours of work per week required of a full-time employee. Our letter also provides that any employer contributions to a pension scheme or life assurance benefit will be calculated based on the new, lower salary and any bonuses or commission will be paid pro rata. Where benefits cannot be pro rated, such as private medical insurance, the letter states that those benefits will continue to be paid in full. Finally, the letter asks the employee to sign and return a copy to signify their consent to the changes - as all the changes are consequent on their reduced hours, there shouldn’t be a problem with this.