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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44865
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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can my employer make me work in a different location

Customer Question

can my employer make me work in a different location
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to be able to assist with your question today. Please let me know how long have you worked there for and if your contract says anything about your working location and the employer's ability to move you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Ben


I have worked in the same location for 13 years my contract states my working location exactly and there is no provision in it to work at an alternate place.


 


Kind regards


XXXXX XXXXX

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Is this going to be a permanent move?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No it would be a 4 day shift once every 7 weeks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
This will still amount to a change to your current contract. There are several ways in which an employer may try and make changes to an employee’s contract of employment. These are:

1. By receiving the employee’s express consent.
2. By forcefully introducing the changes (called 'unilateral change of contract').
3. By giving the employee notice to terminate their current contract and then offer them immediate re-engagement under a new contract that contains the changes.

If the employee agrees to the changes then that would usually put an end to the matter.

If the changes are introduced forcefully then the following options are open to the employee:

1. Start working on the new terms but making it clear in writing that they are working ‘under protest’. This means that the employee does not agree with the changes but is only working them because they feel they are forced to. In the meantime they should try and resolve the issue either by informal discussions or by raising a formal grievance.

2. If the changes are serious enough (e.g. a change to pay, duties, place of work, etc.) the employee may wish to consider resigning and claiming constructive dismissal. The resignation must be done without undue delay so as not to give the impression that the changes had been accepted. The claim must be submitted in an employment tribunal within 3 months of resigning and is subject to the employee having at least 1 year’s continuous service.

3. Finally, if the employment is terminated and the employer offers re-engagement on the new terms that could potentially amount to unfair dismissal. However, the employer can justify the dismissal and the changes if they had a sound business reason for dismissing an employee who refuses to accept the variation in terms. This could be pressing business needs requiring drastic changes for the company to survive. If no such reason exists, the employee can make a claim for unfair dismissal in an employment tribunal. The same time limit of 3 months to claim and the requirement to have 1 year’s continuous would apply.

It is also worth mentioning that sometimes employment contracts may try to give the employer a general right to make changes to the employee’s contract. As such clauses give the employer carte blanche to change any term, so as to evade the general rule that changes must be mutually agreed, courts will rarely enforce such clauses. Nothing but the clearest language will be sufficient to create such a right. Any attempt to rely on such clauses will still be subject to the requirement of the employer to act reasonably.

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Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44865
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

At the moment these proposed changes are on an informal basis nothing has been given in writing, should I ask for written conformation, also there is a loss of £25.00 allowance per day for working in this other location

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Yes you should certainly ask for confirmation in writing and if you are willing to work these in return for not long this allowance it could be something you use as a negotiating tool - they keep the allowance and you agree to do these shifts

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