Schedule changes in the last minute: our advice

As a general rule, it is the employer who is responsible for managing the schedules of the company’s employees. This management is governed by the Law.

Although these schedules are subject to labor legislation and must be clearly stated in the work regulations, they may need to be modified from time to time. Let’s take a look at the extent to which this is possible.

Is the employee’s agreement required to modify the schedule?

If the employer plans to change the employees’ working hours, they have the right to object, provided the hours are specified in the employment contract.

A challenge may also be admissible if the organization of the employee’s work schedule is seriously disrupted. This may particularly concern an employee with important family commitments, for whom changes in working hours would make it impossible to meet these obligations.

Finally, it’s important to note that employers cannot impose frequent, last-minute schedule changes at will. They are obliged to respect the rest periods of their employees/workers, and can under no circumstances employ them as they see fit. There may, however, be exceptions, particularly where on-call arrangements are included in the employment contract.

Under normal circumstances, such practices are likely to be perceived as infringements of the right to rest, or even as malicious intent on the part of the employer. As a result, employees who feel aggrieved can contact their trade union or take legal action in such circumstances.

How quickly can you notify your teams of these changes?

Working hours can be changed at short notice by the employer. However, an obstacle to the application of this decision would be a specific mention in the employment contract. In addition, a period of notice must be given in the event of last-minute schedule changes. Under the terms of article 3121-47 of the French Labor Code, this period is 7 days.

As for the schedule, it must be brought to the employee’s attention within a period equivalent to the period of notice, i.e. 7 days. In any case, this period is set at a minimum of 3 days, in accordance with the industry’s collective bargaining agreement. On the other hand, in the event of a part-time contract, there is nothing to prevent the employer from deciding to change the working hours.

It is also possible for employees to ask their employer to change their working hours. However, it is up to the employer, as the person responsible for managing the schedule, to decide whether or not to accede to this request.

Scheduling software makes it easy to change schedules

Schedule changes can be made at the last minute, but in compliance with the relevant legal provisions. To make these changes easier and quicker, you can rely on the Shyfter tool.

In particular, Shyfter offers a “free shifts” feature, enabling your available employees to apply for a shift in place of your absent employees , or even to notify you of their availability and absence.

Our planning and scheduling software not only automates all the planning, but is also very intuitive and easy to use. A notification is automatically sent to your employees to confirm the schedule change. Shyfter’ s software is designed to make your life easier by saving you a considerable amount of time with planning and scheduling tasks within your organization, leaving you more time to devote to other projects.