Asda Employee: ‘I Want to Sue Asda Over New Employment Contract’

Asda has recently enacted a major overhaul of its employment contracts and its current employees are not happy.

UK supermarket Asda, owned by Walmart, has been threatening to fire its employees if they don’t sign new employments contracts under new terms. Employees of the supermarket chain are now ‘terrified’ of losing their jobs if they don’t sign the new contracts.

One employee in particular, Duncan Carson, was fired this week, after refusing to sign the new terms, but aims to take Asda to an employment tribunal and put up a fight.

“I think someone should stand up to them…What is the point in having a contract if they can unilaterally change it?” he said, according to the BBC.

Asda recently extended the deadline for its over 120,000 hourly-paid staff to sign the new contracts, which would result in changes to their benefits and salary. The changes primarily include  an increase in basic hourly pay, but less paid breaks, less pay on bank holidays and less higher paid night shift hours. For many employees, these changes could be a lot more significant than for some.

Lawyer Monthly has heard from ​Martha McKinley, Employment Law Solicitor and Senior Associate at Stephensons Solicitors LLP, who said: “ASDA has decided to terminate the contracts of employees refusing to agree to new terms and conditions. It will then offer them the option to sign up to a new, revised contract containing the disputed terms. 

“This is usually a “last ditch” attempt to resolve a situation in which a number of existing employees will not agree to a contractual variation. While employees may not agree that the new proposals are fair, employers often argue that such changes are necessary to improve efficiency and financial performance. 

“This decision is not without risk given that dismissal in these circumstances is open to a legal challenge from employees who have been employed by the supermarket chain for more than two years, or those who may argue the impact the changes have on them are discriminatory. However, ASDA simply has to show a sound business reason for wishing to implement the changes. Provided it can do so and demonstrate that a fair process has been followed, a claim for unfair dismissal may be unlikely to succeed.”

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