Is there any way to change the terms of an employee's contract if there is no provision for the change in the contract?
The employer can change the terms of a contract if it has the consent of the employee. The employee can consent to the change orally, in writing or by their behaviour. If the terms in the contract are changed without the employee's consent, they can claim breach of contract and damages, and in some cases unfair constructive dismissal, or unlawful deduction of wages.
If the employee does not consent to the change, the employer has the option of dismissing the employee and re-engaging them on the new terms. If the employer has a genuine business need to change the terms of the contract, it may be able to rely on "some other substantial reason" under s.98(1)(b) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 as being the potentially fair reason for dismissal. Depending on the numbers to be dismissed, the employer must comply with the collective redundancy consultation procedure, or risk the payment of a protective award.