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I have been working with this company in Jordan for more than 3 months. The working hours on the contract are 9AM to 6PM and it never states that the working hours will be changed.

Today my boss, who is also the owner, contacted me and told me that my working hours will be changed to 12PM to 9PM and this is final. The reason for this change is that our clients are mostly based in other countries, but I can't work like this; I have so much stuff after 6PM.

What should I do?

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  • 6
    Does your contract state whether or not the working hours are subject to change?
    – sf02
    Jan 17, 2020 at 18:53
  • 3
    Have you been presented with an amendment to the contract which addresses the change in hours? If so, does it include provisions for the case where you don't accept the changes by a predetermined date?
    – alroc
    Jan 17, 2020 at 18:55
  • 3
    Basically your contract is your protection. If there is no provision for this, then you are probably hosed. What country are you located in?
    – Neo
    Jan 17, 2020 at 19:00
  • 12
    Hate to say that perhaps it is a time to update your resume and start job searching just in case...
    – DarkCygnus
    Jan 17, 2020 at 19:08
  • 3
    Is your stuff after 6PM actually scheduled after 6PM, or is it stuff that you could do before 12 noon? Jan 18, 2020 at 9:46

3 Answers 3

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Today my boss, who is also the owner, contacted me and told me that my working hours will be changed to 12PM to 9PM and this is final.

He may think it's final, but it's a negotiation. One outcome is that you completely give him what he wants. The other is that you completely refuse (and he probably fires you). But it's possible that you can find an agreement in the middle.

Consider your negotiating position

How strong is your negotiating position?

  • Are you doing a job that requires special skills?
  • Does it take a lot of time for a new employee to get up to speed?
  • Are you good at your job?
  • Are you a hard worker?
  • Does your boss like you?
  • Are you getting a relatively low wage?
  • Could you easily get a job elsewhere?
  • Does all of the work need to be done real-time for clients in other time zones, or is there also work that could be done during your "normal" hours?

The more "yes" you can answer to these questions, the stronger your position. If you'd be hard to replace then "final" should not be so final.

Get your boss to admit that there is a negotiation

He's the boss so he makes decisions, and he's making this decision for plausible business reasons. But he's also impacting your life and asking you to accommodate his need to change the contract. So tell him something like:

"Hey boss, I understand that we need to be available to our clients during their office hours. But what you're asking me is quite a heavy commitment. This would completely take over my life outside of work. Can we talk about how we could solve this?"

This is where you un-final the "this is final". You show that you have a legitimate ground to want to negotiate, because he's asking you to give something more.

Negotiate and look for solutions

Your boss' business need is reasonable; Jordan is a couple of time zones removed from Europe. A workable solution will require someone to work those last three hours. But that still leaves room for variation:

  • Maybe you can agree to do this late shift on some days but not others. This still leaves some of your after-work life intact. Another employee could do the late shift on the other days.
  • Maybe it's acceptable to have only a skeleton crew during the last three hours. In European offices the heavy lifting is probably done earlier in the day anyway.
  • Work that doesn't need to be done real-time for the clients could still be done during normal daytime office hours.

There could be some upsides for you in this. If you have to work during unpleasant hours, maybe that should also earn you better pay during those hours. Also, if you can negotiate for only some of the days to be late shifts, you can take advantage of being free during those morning hours. It can be handy for any shopping, doctor/dentist appointments etcetera that are normally difficult to combine with fulltime office hours. If you have children, it can also be nice to have time to spend with them during daytime hours when a lot of stuff for children is open.


If your boss is absolutely unreasonable you're going to have to make a choice whether you still want to work here. But hopefully you can negotiate a compromise that's sufficient for your boss and doesn't hinder you too much.

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  • 1
    Actually, Jordan is only 1 or 2 hours difference with Europe. It looks like the boss is trying to align the working hours with the business hours in the USA. Jan 21, 2020 at 13:25
  • 1
    Yeah, it seems Jordan is at GMT+2 so one hour ahead of mainland Europe and 2 ahead of the UK. I suppose with the later opening hours you can get just a bit of overlap with the US East Coast region. That's unfortunate because then you're facing their morning crowd, which is probably bigger than the European late afternoon.
    – ObscureOwl
    Jan 21, 2020 at 14:17
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Try negotiating but unfortunately, the reality is, you or the company will need to be flexible. If not, you will need to find another job. A legal remedy based on the contract can be a big hassle and it will be difficult to work together afterwards.

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It depends how perfect you're with your work, what your roles and responsibilities are and how much you matter to the company before you ask to change the timings. Still, I would request you to go to the HR department and check out for your contract paper and see if there was any such thing that can make your work timing change to normal that makes your work-life balance. As you are new to the company, you may not know much about the company but you may consider shifting your timings for a month and see how it works in your life.

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