Free Reducing hours at work letter templates (Australia)

Make sure employees are kept in the loop with an empathetic reducing hours at work letter.

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Breaking the bad news that you have to reduce an employee's hours by letter can be challenging. However, when you do it with understanding and adherence to the law, you can make the whole process a lot easier.

Read on to see how to write a reducing hours at work letter, complete with free templates and examples.

What is a reducing hours at work letter?

In basic terms, a reducing hours at work letter is a letter given to an employee by their employer to notify them of a reduction in working hours. This letter will outline the reason for the reduction in hours and give employees the chance to respond or appeal this decision.

Reducing of hours at work template from Lawpath

Download this template at Lawpath

When should I use a reducing hours at work letter?

A reducing hours at work letter should be used when a worker's contracted hours have to be cut down. This reduction in hours may be down to a lack of business funds, a lack of available work or if you're choosing to reorganise the business.

A reduction in hours can't be made without the consent and agreement of the employee. Writing a letter outlining how and when you are proposing to reduce an employee's hours is an important first step in the process.

Reducing hours at work letter vs notice of redundancy

A reducing hours at work letter should not be confused with a notice of redundancy letter. The reduction of hours is generally an attempt to keep employees in work, whereas a notice of redundancy will result in the ending of an employees contract.

Some businesses may choose to make redundancies rather than reduce hours, yet keeping the employees on can be more beneficial. The most you can reduce hours by before it is considered a redundancy is generally around 40%.

What does a reducing hours at work include and not include?

Included

A letter notifying a reduction of an employee's hours has to include several things to keep it all above board. The letter must first and foremost include a genuine and ethical reason for reducing the employees hours.

As well as this, a clear statement of how an employee's hours and shifts will change must be included. There should also be a section on how the accrual of annual leave and sick leave has changed due to the reduction in hours.

The final sections of the letter should state how long the employee has to appeal or respond to this reducing hours at work letter. This should be at least 15 days after the letter is given to the employee.

What is not included in a reducing hours at work letter?

A reducing hours at work letter should not overlook any aspect of the change and should strive to include as much information as possible. Including every point is vital for both the process and the wellbeing of your employee.

If any necessary detail is overlooked when going through the letter-writing process, then it may be considered by the employee as unfair or even illegal. If you go about the procedure incorrectly, it can also be mistakenly taken as discrimination or singling-out.

How effective is a reducing hours at work letter?

A letter illustrating why a reduction of hours is needed is far more effective than any other course of action. As the process is always an unpleasant one, by writing a clear and concise letter, the employee feels far more included in the changes.

As the consent of the employee is needed for a smooth transition, providing them with all of the information in the letter makes this far smoother process. By choosing empathetic language in the letter, the effectiveness will be far greater than if it were delivered in a cold and unattached way.

Do I need a lawyer for a reducing hours work letter?

A lawyer is not strictly needed when you want to write and issue a reducing hours at work letter, as it is all done in house. However, it won't hurt to have your letter looked over by a lawyer. You can also make sure the letter is legally watertight by using an online legal template.

Name Product Legal document services available Free legal documents available? Other legal services offered Price Document library size
Lawpath
Customisable document templates
You can view samples for free and you can create your first document for free.
Online document eSignatures, lawyer marketplace, on-demand legal advice, business setup services
$288 per year for unlimited documents
300+
Customise and download up to 300 legal documents for business or personal matters. Plus register a company, business name or ABN.
LawDepot
Customisable document templates
Free one week trial available which gives access to hundreds of documents.
Free legal articles and resources
$59.88 per year for unlimited documents or one-off documents available for $9.50 - $49
150+
Customise and download legal documents in as little as five minutes. Plus, LawDepot offers peace of mind with two service guarantees.
Legal123
Customisable document templates
No
Custom legal services available, free law change updates via email, legal packages for various professions
Individual templates start from $59 + GST
Legal123 offers a range of individual templates or document packages for consultants, app developers, personal trainers and more.
LegalVision
Customisable document templates & professionally drafted documents
No
Legal advice phone consultations, contract reviewing and amendments, trade mark applications, business structure assistance.
From $49 + GST per week for access to 40+ legal templates
40+
Take advantage of unlimited legal advice consultations, free legal templates and fast turnaround times for legal projects with LegalVision membership.
Law Central
Customisable document templates
You can view samples and create your own document for free with the Silver membership.
Legal advice specialised on commercial and estate planning
Between $18 - $625 per document.
~100
Law Central offers a large number of legal templates for super, trusts, estate planning, employment and commercial uses.
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How do I write a reducing hours at work letter?

When writing a reducing hours at work letter, it is essential to go through a series of checkpoints. Start by writing the name and address of the employee whose hours you wish to reduce, complete with the date in which you are delivering it.

Go onto state the reason for the reduction of hours and how this will affect the employee's wages, sick pay, annual leave and any other occupational benefits. Finish the letter by stating the employee is within their right to reply and challenge this reduction but has a specific time frame for doing so.

Sign and date the letter again at the bottom and leave space for the employee to do the same once they have received and agreed on the changes.

Where to get free legal documents and templates such as a reducing hours at work letter?

Free legal templates can be found from a variety of free sources across the web. Sites such as Wonder Legal and Lawpath are ideal for this. More occupational based documents and templates can be found from sites such as Employment Hero.

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