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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 55198
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have given my notice to terminate contract with my

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Hi, I have given my notice to terminate contract with my employer which lasts 60 days. I currently work as their department manager, mainly pricing work and managing the workforce. They have told me they don’t trust me to work in the office speaking with customer and that I will now he sent to work on a construction site with the guys I normally manage. As I’m a manager and this isn’t my job, can they do this? My contract does say “any other reasonable duties”, but this to me is actually a change in job? Thanks
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Sorry for poor spelling! Also what options do they have if they won’t allow me to continue performing my job? Gardening leave? Thanks

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

What would you be doing on the construction site?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Operating plant and machinery
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
As well as acting in a general labouring capacity

Thank you. Whilst your contract says you could be asked to undertake any other reasonable duties, the key word is ‘reasonable’ and you could certainly argue that what they are asking you to do is not reasonable. You are employed in an office capacity, therefore asking you to go and work in a construction site is unlikely to be deemed reasonable when compared to your contractual duties. It would have been reasonable to ask you to do other office-based work, which was not directly related to your usual job, but completely changing your working environment in such way would unlikely be considered fair and reasonable. In that basis you can refuse to undertake these duties and ask that you are either placed on garden leave or paid in lieu of notice, or given something which is reasonable.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
It does, I have on occasion worked on site in this capacity. Before working in this position I was in a site based role for another company so I’m experienced in the work. Since working for my current employer I have worked on site covering staff who are on holiday or sick leave. Does this change my position? I saw this as reasonable as I was qualified and experienced and that a few days to help the company was “reasonable”.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Being sent to site now I have handed my notice in, when other site operatives are available, must give grounds that it is not my role and the site operatives should be send. In short my employer is trying to punish and humiliate me by sending me to site.

it may make any argument a little bit weaker but still, this is a period of two months we are talking about, not just a random day here and there. So whilst it may have been reasonable to ask you to cover short periods of time, it is still unlikely to be fair to ask you to move there for the full notice poeriod. Hope this clarifies?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
it does, are there any legal guides or links to governments websites which I can use as proof to argue this to my employer? I would like something to show them in our meeting tomorrow. Thank you

this is unfortunately not covered in specific laws or legislation, this is what is considered reasonable under employment laws which lawyers know from practice and how tribunals would usually look at this. SO I am afraid you will not get a definitive law in black and white but if challenged in tribunal that is what they would be considering

Ben Jones and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thanks much appreciated. One last thing, my employer is telling other members of staff that I’m leaving, setting up my own business, working for XYZ, all without my permission. Is this in breach of employee confidentiality or similar? Basically is he allowed to do this? Last question , sorry!

No worries, if this was information which only you and the employer knew and it is about you personally, it could amount to personal data which you have rights under data protection so they could be accused of having v=breached data protection rules over it. What you can do realistically is not much though because whilst you can report it to the relevant authorities, they are unlikely to do much about it as it is a minor breach which has just placed you in a slightly awkward position, rather than resulted in some serious data loss or similar.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** my work phone taken off me and I have now been told I am on breach of contract because I have sent my new phone number out to my phone contacts, some of them work related. Saying only “hi it’s jack marshall, this is my new number”. There is nothing in my contract that mentions anything about approaching customers etc even though that isn’t what I’ve done. Do they have grounds to sue me for breach of contract (they are threatening me with this). And if they do what would be a likely outcome? Thanks

this is very unlikely to be a breach of contract and you have not breached anything from the contract. It is more empty threats than anything else