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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48206
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I work as a service technician in london. I live in south

Resolved Question:

Hi
I work as a service technician in london. I live in south west London. At the end of May , I have been booked to work in Southampton for 2days,(Tuesday and Wednesday), 1 1/2 hr to*****each way and then liverpool on Thursday and Friday, which will be about 6-7 hr drive each way. I am also a mum with 2 young children. I'm not happy with the traveling, as I feel it's too much. What can I do.
Mandish.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for and what does your contract say about your normal place of work and ability for the employer to ask you to travel if necessary?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi

It's been a year and 4 months.

My contract says there will be travelling and possible stay aways.

The issue I have is that if I leave to travel on Wednesday, I won't get back into London till 5/5:30. I would then have to leave after 7pm, due to traffic, which means I won't get to Liverpool till 12 midnight, after also already travelling for 4 hours in the day. If I l travel on Thursday morning I would have to leave at about 4am. I feel it is unreasonable what they are asking me to do, when there are technicians in the north. There is no risk assessments.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Many thanks for your patience. There are actually no legal limits on how long or far an employee can be asked to drive in a day, unless you actually drive for a living which is not the case here. There are specific laws that deal with the limits on working time and rest breaks but you would need to show that the travel time actually amounts to working time in the first place. Then the issue is that the law on working time is not that strict as the limits can be avoided by an employer if they give you additional compensatory rest to compensate for the fact you kay not have had the usual breaks you would have been entitled to.
Just to summarise the working time laws, you are entitled to an uninterrupted 11h rest every day and that basically means you can expect to have the 11h at some pint between finishing and ending work for that day. However as mentioned the employer could try and avoid giving you these 11h if they give you additional compensatory rest later on in the week. So this is not going to be a very strong argument although you can of course raise it.
The other issue is that your contract states that you are expected to undertake travel from time to time and as such you are not able to claim your employer has acted in breach of contract.
Finally, your length of service will also not help you much. Until you have at least 2 years of continuous service with the employer you are not protected against unfair dismissal. That means they can dismiss you for more or less any reason, subject to a few exceptions, which probably would not apply here. So if you make too much fuss about this and refuse to follow the employer’s instructions they could potentially seek to terminate your employment as a result. Hopefully it would not come to that but bear it in mind as it is a potential risk. You can nevertheless raise a formal grievance if you believe that they are acting unreasonably and you wish to seek a more formal internal resolution to all this.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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