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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48210
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Can my employer ( a school) demand that I use my own personal

Resolved Question:

Can my employer ( a school) demand that I use my own personal vehicle to take children home when sick etc. I work in the admin office and have for the last 5 years . Recently the business manager arranged insurance cover for everyone to use their cars for business purposes. In the last five years it has not been part of my job to be the school taxi service ! Now, in the last few weeks they are expecting us to do the running around. Is this legal ?. There is nothing in my contract covering this . Thank you
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. Have you been told what would happen if you refuse?

Customer:

No Ben they haven't

Ben Jones :

You are correct that if there was nothing in your contract to cover this and it is seen as an unreasonable request by the employer that they cannot really force you to do it. They may state that this is now a condition of your employment and ask you to undertake these duties from time to time but you can refuse to do so and it would then be for the employer to decide what to do next. For example they could try and discipline you for insubordination or failure to follow a reasonable request by the employer but this could be challenged along the lines that it was never a condition of your contract and it was included without your consent, that it is in no way linked to your usual duties and that it is therefore an unreasonable request.

Ben Jones :

At any point if you continue to be pressured by the employer to do this, you an consider raising a grievance to formally complain to them about this and ask them to investigate this and submit a formal response and seek a resolution

Customer:

Thank you Ben , I am also concerned about travelling with school children in my car . I always take another member of staff with me but I am concerned about accidents - what if a child is injured while travelling in my car ? Where would I stand - should the school insurance cover me for this do you think ? I am considering asking for a copy of the cover to see exactly what cover they have set up .

Ben Jones :

the insurance should indeed cover this, if the school has sought insurance cover for these trips then the likelihood is that they would cover any such incidents but as you said - always worth checking the cover policy to see exactly what you are covered for

Customer:

Do you think it would be reasonable for me to ask my line manger what would happen if I refuse to ferry children around in my own car ?

Ben Jones :

yes of course you can

Customer:

Ok , well thank you for your advice Ben . Looks like a lot hinges on whether their requests are considered reasonable or not . In a nutshell admin are being treated like they are as low as a snakes belly at the moment and we are being given the run around jobs that other departments are now refusing to do !!! Great .

Ben Jones :

I don't see how it would be reasonable - you are admin staff, you work in an office you have office duties, you are not there to act as a driver and transport kids...

Customer:

Hmmmm . Yes I agree . I will tread carefully with my line manager while asking a few pointed questions

Ben Jones :

Don't just outright refuse and be confrontational but make your position and feelings clear and give them reasons to show why this is unreasonable and try to work together. If you are considering doing these then you could ask for additional pay/expenses to do it as it is a variation to your contract

Customer:

Ben ,I am not confrontational by nature and outright refusal goes against the grain with me so that's not an issue .I try and help people as much as possible in my job and always have done this is why I am struggling with this situation. However ,yes I will have a tactical calm discussion outlining my discomfort about the new requests . Thank you for your advice I feel a bit clearer in my mind about the way forward .

Ben Jones :

Of course, I never intended it to mean that this is the person you are, just made a general reference as to the best approach to take :) You re welcome and hope you resolve this to your satisfaction eventually

Customer:

No offence taken - many thanks for your help Ben .

Ben Jones :

My pleasure

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