Custom and Practice sets in where you have been doing something different to your contract which essentially overrides your contract and is your established terms and conditions. There is no real judgment for how long the working practice, whatever it may be, has to be in place before custom and practice sets in, but i would say that after 5 years it probably has.
That being said, even if custom and practice has set in, your manager can still consult with you to change your working pattern. You should raise your concerns around pay and benefits during this period, and depending on whether they have a genuine business rationale, it may be that it can be enforced.
Thank you for the information, most interesting........however, I have been informed today that the proposed plan to alter the night shift rota of both myself and a number of other people has been scrapped by managment.
There was no financial gain by introducing the changes as the night shifts I was going to 'lose' would have to have been 'covered' by another person of an equal grade in order to ensure the skill mix remained at the agreed standard, the same applies to all the other staff threatened with the change. We would have been replaced 'like for like' so there was no cost saving advantage.
The 'replacements' would have come from a number of nurses either not working any night shifts or very small amounts of night shifts largely due to the fact that working night shifts makes them physically unwell due to the very unsocial hours/longer shift times & lack of sleep.
I think Management finally woke up & realised that they would be taking staff off nights who cope ok with the hours & are quite happy running about at 4am & be replacing them with nurses who are made ill by the lack of sleep & would possibly be calling in sick meaning the need to use overtime/bank/agency staff at extra cost........it made no sense financially or from a staff motivation/moral perspective.
© 2010 Reed Business Information Ltd.