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Marcinlondon, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 385
Experience:  Qualified Lawyer - 8 years experience
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My employer has recently changed my contract (fire and

Customer Question

My employer has recently changed my contract (fire and rehire situation). I believer their new travel time payments as stated in my contract to be illegal. I work as a merchandiser travelling to various clients each day. I have no fixed place of work, but the company wish to classify places I have visited recently as permanent and therefore not pay travel time to and from these places. They also will not pay travel between work places if they are within 5 miles of each other. I am an employee paid minimum wage. I believe I should be paid travel time to and from work as mandated by the EU in 2015 and between all jobs as the only reason I’m spending time travelling is because my employer demands it. Thanks. Jason
JA: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: not as a complaint. It is not individual to me but company wide.
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Employee. There is no union recognised by the company.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I don’t think so
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Marcinlondon replied 13 days ago.

Hello, this isCustomerand welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today and I will be happy to advise you to the extent possible on this platform. I will review your question and I will be back with my answer shortly. You will get notified when my answer is ready therefore there is no need to wait online.

Please note that our discussion on this site is for general information purposes only and in no event create a lawyer-client relationship.

Expert:  Marcinlondon replied 13 days ago.

Thank you for your patience and I am sorry to hear about it.

Your starting point should be your original contract of employment. Check if the employer has the right to amend the contract of employment with your consent etc. If they varied it without your agreement you may want to make a formal complaint to your HR. Just follow relevant process set out in your employment contract regarding complaints.

Legally, if you have no fixed place of work you may be seen as ‘peripatetic workers and the benefit of this is that travel between home and work may count as working time.

Unfortunately, it’s still up to the employer to decide if you get paid for this time. They only have to ensure that they follow National Minimum Wage law. Your strongest point is your old contract therefore if the contract allowed for this time spend on travel to be considered as working time, they have to honour it.

Make a written complaint to HR and see what they say.

Expert:  Marcinlondon replied 13 days ago.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any follow up questions or want me to clarify anything. I am happy to help.

Expert:  Marcinlondon replied 13 days ago.

I trust this was helpful. As offered above, feel free to come back with anything else. In the meantime, many thanks for using our service.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Could you clarify a bit more please. If I am indeed classed as a peripatetic worker and I’m paid minimum wage, would the company be in breach of minimum wage legislation by not paying travel times? Also, I don’t understand the relevance of my old contract (which did indeed pay me for travel to and from work and between all calls)
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
At this point I don’t want the expense of a phone call sorry. Minimum wage and a reduction in travel payments mean I don’t have much disposable cash.
Expert:  Marcinlondon replied 13 days ago.

Feel free to ignore automatic prompts for a call if you do not require them.

Expert:  Marcinlondon replied 13 days ago.

Please correct me if I am wrong but my understanding is that you are not classified as a peripatetic worker in your new employment contract. It all comes down to your contract of employment. If you dispute the variation of your contract and successfully argue that you should be classified as a peripatetic worker, then as a consequence your employer might be breaching the minimum wage regulations as they will be paying you less then minimum wage if you include travel time.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
They have never used these terms. In essence my previous contract assumed I was and paid travel time accordingly. What has changed is they have deemed the various clients’ premises that I travel to as permanent places of work. This would be the crux of the argument whether their interpretation of a fixed place of employment is legally sound. My opinion is that their interpretation is wrong, but I would guess they sought legal advice before implementing these changes. Do you feel there is merit in my opinion? And what avenues are open to me if you do?
Expert:  Marcinlondon replied 13 days ago.

I feel that it can be "successfully" argued by either Party. If I were you, I would contact HR and state that you disagree with their assessment and kindly demand that you are paid for the travel time. Also, ask for the legal grounds on which they rely. Wait for their response and feel free to share it with me or a lawyer outside of this platform and then you will be able to make an informed decision once we have had a chance t review their reasons.