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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48189
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My company suddenly wants me to work one day a week from another

Resolved Question:

My company suddenly wants me to work one day a week from another office. The office is double the distance and will take more than half as much time to travel.
Whilst I am sure I can claim travelling expenses I am more concerned about my time - It would cost me an hour and a half extra each time I have to go, so 1.5(hours) * 52(weeks) = 78 hours a year of my time lost. Can I refuse to do this, or can I ask for extra pay to cover my time?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there?
Customer:

18 years

Customer:

To be more precise 18 years and 7 months.

Ben Jones :

Many thanks for your patience. Just before I finalise my answer, can you please let me know if your contract contains a mobility or relocation clause that could allow them to ask you to do this?

Customer:

No there is no clause like that.

Customer:

And doesn't relocation only apply to a complete move?

Customer:

this is only for 1 day a week the rest of the days are still at my original office.

Ben Jones :

Yes a relocation clause would usually cover a permanent move, whereas a mobility clause could cover temporary or occasional work from another location. Anyway, will respond with a few minutes, just finishing off my response

Ben Jones :

So as discussed, the existence of a mobility clause would have potentially allowed the employer to ask you to work from another location but in the absence of such a clause this would effectively amount to a change to your contractual terms and conditions.


 


There are a few ways in which an employer may try and make changes to an employee’s contract of employment. These are by:



  • Receiving the employee’s express consent to the changes.

  • Forcefully introducing the changes (called 'unilateral change of contract').

  • Giving the employee notice to terminate their current contract and then offer them immediate re-engagement under a new contract that contains the new terms.


 


If the changes are introduced without the employee's consent, then the following options are available:


 


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


 


2. If the changes fundamentally impact the contract, for example changes to pay, duties, place of work, etc., you may wish to consider resigning and claiming constructive dismissal. The resignation must be done without unreasonable 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 you having at least 2 years' continuous service. You would then seek compensation for loss of earnings resulting from the employer's actions.


 


3. 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 try and justify the dismissal and the changes if they had a sound business reason for doing so. This could be pressing business needs requiring drastic changes for the company to survive. If no such reason exists, you 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 2 years' continuous would apply.


 


Of course you may simply try and negotiate with them and make your position and feelings clear and hope that they withdraw their request.

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you