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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50209
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have been home based years doing exactly the same job

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I have been home based years doing exactly the same job - travelling to the office a couple of times a week to attend meetings where necessary. My employer has just sent me a letter telling me my work location is to change to be office based (which means around 2- 3 hours commute a day, depending on traffic. I would also lose travel expenses, which they currently pay me when i attend the office. Can they do that...?
Ben Jones : , my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Does your contract say they can do that?

Not that i am aware

Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

This will amount to a change of contract. 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, 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 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 so. This could be pressing business needs requiring drastic changes company to survive. If no such reason exists, you can make a claim dismissal in an employment tribunal. The same time limit of 3 months to claim and the requirement to have 2 years' continuous would apply.


Ok, thank you ......just one other thing - a couple of months ago they announced a restructure, a couple of people were made redundant. They told me at the time that my role was completely unaffected by the restructure - would this have any bearing. They have not given any reason change of location.

Ben Jones :

Sorry I was in meetings by the time you had replied. Whilst there may have been confirmation that your job may be unaffected, things can change at the drop of a hat, so that does not serve as guarantee that your job will not be affected in any way. You can certainly ask the employer reasons behind the proposed changes but they do not have to give these to you, in that case your rights will remain as stated above and your options of challenging this would be as listed. Hope this clarifies your position?


ok, thanks help Ben


I can't seem to rate though to finish :-(

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, all the best (PS: the option to rate should be enabled, thank you)

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