Can an employer use an intranet to advise employees of its wish to make a change to their contractual terms?
There is nothing to stop an employer using an intranet to advise employees of its wish to make a change to contractual terms. However, this should not be used as a substitute for proper consultation where this is required.
Where changes to contractual terms are advantageous, there is unlikely to be any challenge from employees. Where the changes are not viewed as advantageous, for example where there are proposed changes to shift patterns that may not find favour with all employees, a variation of contract process should be followed. This includes notifying employees of the genuine business reason for making the change, consulting with them and considering their objections and any alternatives that they put forward, and, depending on the outcome of the consultation, giving notice to terminate the original contracts with an immediate re-engagement on the new terms.
An intranet could be used within this process. Employees could be informed that there is information on the intranet that confirms what they have been told in consultation meetings. This could set out in writing the proposed changes, together with any supporting information that the employer may wish its employees to consider.