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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47884
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I've been working company as an electrical maintenance

Resolved Question:

I've been working for my company as an electrical maintenance engineer for nearly 9 years. Yesterday they introduced electronic devices called PDA to be used by all engineers: We now have to log in everything we do during the day including completed tasks, T-breaks, travels, starting time, finishing time ect... and this is very time consuming. I raised a formal greivance with our HR but they said this is not a change of contract and the employer has the right to introduce new tools in the workplace so there was no need for prior consultation with the engineers.
Was the employer right to introduce these PDAs without consulting us?
Would I have failed in my duties if I refused to use these PDAs while continuing to work for my company?
In case I refuse to use these PDAs and I'm sacked from work, would I have any chance of success if I take the matter to the employment tribunal?
Kind regards
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Has the employer said you will face disciplinary action if you refuse to use the PDAs?
Customer:

no but we didn't speak about that yet

Ben Jones : Ok I will respond fully shortly
Customer:

ok thanks

Ben Jones :

An employer can indeed introduce changes to the way they operate their business, such as new technology and practices and it would not necessarily be seen as a direct change to the employment contracts. So if your duties are not significantly changed and this is just something introduced on the side to assist with the employer’s business it can be acceptable.

If there are difficulties with using the new technology the employer should offer training and if your duties are affected because the PDAs take extra time the employer should be conscious of this and understand that you may not be able to do your work at the same pace to start with. However, with time this should become a normal part of your duties.

So a direct refusal to adopt these PDAs could amount to insubordination. Whilst eventually a dismissal can occur, the employer should be careful about jumping to that straight away and they should consider issuing formal warnings first. So an instant dismissal could amount to unfair dismissal but I the employer offers you appropriate raining, gives you time to get used to the new technology and if you refuse to use it they follow a fair disciplinary procedure with staged warnings, then an eventual dismissal could be fair.

Customer:

thank you, ***** ***** that

Ben Jones :

you are welcome

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