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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48180
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hello! I am being asked to move to our Birmingham Office on

Resolved Question:

Hello! I am being asked to move to our Birmingham Office on a permanent basis (5 day week) from our Loughborough Office that is a further distance of 40 miles away x 2 x 5 days = 400 extra miles a week in my car. Parking will be £29.00 per week in Birmingham (is free in Loughborough) and all they have offered me is £2500 per year extra. After tax that leaves me approx. £31.00 per week. No account has been made for the extra fuel (£68.00 a week)or wear on my car and I just don't know what to do! Any advice please? Many thanks.
***** *****
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?

Customer:

Hi Ben, I have worked for the company for Over 20 years. six of it in Loughborough, previous time in Leicester

Customer:

I live in Carlton, Nottingham and the Loughborough office is 24 miles away from there. That is not of concern. it is the extra 400 miles a week that is giving me concern.

Ben Jones :

Does your contract allow for relocation?

Customer:

it states that I can be aked to work in a different office

Customer:

asked

Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please

Customer:

ok

Ben Jones :

The starting point is that having a clause in your contract which allows for relocation can enable your employer to request that you move your workplace. However, it is not a simple as giving them the all clear to do this as and when they wish and there are certain factors that must be considered before this can materialise.;

Courts and tribunals are generally unlikely to interpret a general flexibility clause in a way that does more than enable an employer to vary contractual provisions with which the employer is required to comply. So if they want to make amendments to terms which the employee is bound by, then the practice would be somewhat more restrictive.

As an example, in the case of Wandsworth London Borough Council v D'Silva the court made it clear that, whilst an employer may reserve a contractual right to unilaterally change a particular aspect of an employment contract, clear language must be used and if the unilateral change could produce an unreasonable result, when interpreting such a clause the courts would "seek to avoid such a result".

If such a result is the potential outcome then the employer needs to consider giving the employee appropriate notice and also compensating them for any losses that may result from these changes, so for example meeting certain relocation costs, at least for a reasonable period after the relocation.

You are able to challenge this decision directly with the employer, such as by raising a grievance. If that does not help then the only way to take this forward would be to resign and make acclaim for constructive dismissal.

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Customer:

Thanks Ben for your answer. I did initially challenge the £2000 p.a and worked out with facts and figures that I would need £5000 gross p.a. not to be out of pocket. There answer was to increase the original offer by £500 p. a. Hence my call to Just answer. Chris

Customer:

It took them 3 weeks to come back with that offer !

Ben Jones :

In terms of challenging this, you still only have the two options described above - the grievance to start with and then the constructive dismissal claim if you believe you cannot continue working with them as a result

Customer:

Ok Ben. Many thanks. I will challenge the decision again. I may just have to 'like it' as at the age of 63 I cannot afford to be without a job !

Ben Jones :

yes it is a difficult position to be in but you can at least push them at this stage and make it more 'formal' through the grievance process and hope for at least a suitable increase to the current offer

Customer:

Ok many thanks. I will go down that route, and see what happens.

Customer:

Kind regards

Customer:

Chris

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome and best of luck

Customer:

many thanks

Customer:

Chris

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