How to make changes to an employment contract

Be clear on what you need to do to change an employment contract, such as consulting staff members and putting the agreed changes in writing. Get tips on what to do if staff don't agree with your proposals, and learn how to minimise the risk of a legal challenge.

Last reviewed on 15 February 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 10570
  1. When and how to make changes
  2. Inform the employee what you're proposing
  3. Consult with the employee about proposed changes
  4. Use our template letters to invite staff to consultations 
  5. If staff don't agree with your proposed changes
  6. When changes are agreed, notify staff

When and how to make changes

You might need to make changes to an employee's contract to:

  • Better reflect their role (e.g. changing their job title or responsibilities) 
  • Update their employment terms and conditions (e.g. if you're introducing enhanced maternity/paternity/adoption leave and pay) 
  • Change their working hours (e.g. if you're combining multiple part-time roles into a full-time role) 
  • Change their working location (e.g. if the employee is moving to a different school in your multi-academy trust)
  • Account for a TUPE transfer (in which case you'll be restricted on how you can make changes - read more here)
  • Transfer to a flexible working arrangement - read more about how to respond to requests here

You can change an employee's contract if: 

  • There is a 'flexibility clause' in it that allows the employer to do so (read more in the grey box below)
  • The employee agrees to the change; or
  • The employer ends the employee's current contract and then re-engages them under a new contract