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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Hi, I am an employed Electrician who has been employed by the

Customer Question

Hi, I am an employed Electrician who has been employed by the same company for 16 yrs. We are based in Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire and our jobs are normally within a 100 mile radius of the office. We do not normally have to stay away from home or work nights.
Recently I received a work order from my new Chief operating officer telling me that I am required to travel to Hull in Yorkshire (200 mile away). I would be put up in a hotel and I would be working Monday night until Friday night from 6pm until 2am.I was told that I would receive some extra money for shift allowance. As the request was not received until the Friday afternoon before, I didn't have time to seek advice on how I stood with my contract if I couldn't go or didn't want to go. Baring in mind I have 2 young children and I collect them from school 3 days a week. I would like to know my rights and if I could have refused to go? Also I believe I should have been asked to go and be able to negotiate money and not told.
I did go in the end but I have been told that I have to go into the office for a formal investigation as to why I refused to go. Although I did go It took a lot of verbal threats from the C.O.O. to make me go.
I have enclosed below the parts of my contract that state Places of work and Hours of work.
Place of work: You will be based from the office(Herts) and will be required to work at various locations as directed by the partners to meet the needs of the business.

Hours of work: Your normal hours of work will be a minimum of 8 hrs per day,monday to Friday, with a paid break of 30 minutes. These normal hours of work may be varied to meet the needs of the business.
Thank you in advance W.Bailey
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Is this move supposed to be permanent?

JACUSTOMER-av8sty8m- : Hi Ben, this is a temporary thing just for the one job.
Ben Jones :

Thank you, have you or others ever been sent away overnight or for a few nights away? Also who pays for your transport?

JACUSTOMER-av8sty8m- : The company pay the transport as I have a company vehicle
JACUSTOMER-av8sty8m- : Sorry. The company pay the transport as I have a company vehicle and fuel card.
JACUSTOMER-av8sty8m- : I have only ever stopped away for work for one night in 16 yrs and it was a totally different scenario as I offered. As with night work I have only done 4 weeks in 16 yrs and double time was paid as a verbal agreement before I was go. This is not a very common request for my company to tell employed electricians to do this. Generally they use subcontractors on a fixed price for these sort of jobs. Thank you.
Ben Jones :

Thanks for clarifying. According to your contract the employer can ask you to work at various locations in order to meet the business requirements. So whether that is somewhere close to the usual office or somewhere further afield would not usually matter, but the employer is still expected to act in a fair and reasonable manner when they try to apply this clause.

So whilst they are likely to be able to ask you to undertake this work, they should give you sufficient notice so that you are able to make any alternative arrangements regarding child care for example or other responsibilities you may have as well as cover any additional expenses that may be incurred through this.

Also they should not try and abuse this clause, for example by making such trips the norm rather than just the exception when they are needed. So as long as this is used reasonably and as originally intended (meaning occasionally when it is required rather than to be taken advantage of to constantly send you away), it can be fair and reasonable to apply subject to you being given reasonable notice and the employer meeting additional expenses as required.

Hope this clarifies your position?

JACUSTOMER-av8sty8m- : Thank you this clarifies the working away. What about the night working mon-fri 6pm - 2am. My contract states 8 hrs a day from mon to fri. This would go into Saturday morning then I would have to sleep and drive home on Saturday afternoon. There was no financial agreement for the loss of a Saturday. I could not negotiate I was just told. Thank you again
Ben Jones :

Are your actual hours stated or is it just 8 hours a day without specific hours?

JACUSTOMER-av8sty8m- : Hi, yes minimum of 8 hrs a day Monday to Friday. No specific hours. Thank you
Ben Jones :

The issue is that it also allows the employer to vary your normal working hours to meet the needs of the business. So the same would apply – if needed, on occasions, they may ask you to work extra hours than contracted or on different days than what is stated in your contract. However, the same principle would apply – it must be applied reasonably, they should not take advantage of this clause and apply it consistently but only as required and with reasonable notice.

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies your position?

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