• Can my employer change my place of work

  • London

    As an employee, there are several circumstances under which your employer can require you to change your place of work. However, an employer’s right to ask an employee to work elsewhere will be wholly determined by the contract of employment. If the employment contract has a fairly drafted express mobility clause that requires you to perform your duties from a different location then you must adhere to any requirement that falls within that scope.

    Some of the circumstances under which your employer can change your place of work includes the following:

    • If the location you’re supposed to move to falls within the limits stipulated in the mobility clause e.g within a certain radius. You will be contractually obliged to work there.
    • Business efficacy can be another reason your employer may want you to move. This means you’ll need a reliable moving company and the company will also need to hire reliable office relocation services in London for a seamless move.
    • If the new place of work is within a reasonable distance, then your employer can require you to move. Sometimes you may find the contract was silent, but if it is a reasonable requirement then there’s no point in refusing to relocate or move.

    Can an employer force you to move

    As mentioned earlier, the mobility clause in your contract of employment will dictate whether you’re contractually obliged to move and work in a new location. Even though the mobility clause is there, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your employer can force you to move and work in a new location. It is also important to note that refusal to relocate can leave you liable for breach of contract.

    If the mobility clause is deemed unreasonable, then your employer can’t enforce it. For instance, if the job requires you to move abroad and the move is likely to disrupt your family’s life, then this can be deemed unreasonable. Another circumstance is if there are any financial reasons to hinder the move.

    Your employer should also give you reasonable notice regarding the move so that you can effectively prepare. It’s reasonable that your employer informs you at the right time. They might as well offer some financial assistance if necessary.

    Employment law reasonable travelling distance uk

    There is no legally stipulated reasonable travelling distance for employees in the UK. However, you should factor in all factors like traffic, financial impact, time, and impact on your family before agreeing to anything. The scope of the mobility clause allowing for relocation is one of the things that will highlight any reasonable commute distance.

    If the employee is required to move to a new country, it will be more about getting reasonable notice to project plan an office move other than looking at the provisions of the mobility clause. Considering it also involves moving houses, the clause provides for the requirement of reasonable notice to ensure the employee gets adequate time to prepare and move.

    Change of work location employee rights

    The mere existence of a mobility clause in the employment contracts doesn’t necessarily mean that the employee can’t refuse to move. Although refusing to move has its consequences, you can always make the decision not to relocate before the day of the big move.

    It’s essential to note that failure to agreeing to move can have your employer dismissing you on grounds of redundancy or breach of contract. Here are some of the circumstances under which you can argue the terms were unreasonable:

    • If the move is likely to interfere or disrupt childcare arrangements.
    • If the employee is more likely to incur more travel costs.
    • If the move creates serious disruptions to family life.

    Aside from offering incentives, the employer can consider remote working on some of the days of the week to reduce the number of days travelled. Employees should also be given adequate time to prepare for the relocation and weigh other suitable options.

    Can my employer change my place of work without notice

    Before planning a move, the employer is required to give the employee reasonable notice. Otherwise, the employee can refuse and it may result in redundancy. To avoid any objection, the employer can give some incentive to the employee to cover the cost of the additional travel. The recompense may also come in handy to cover the cost to move an office. If the employee feels the need to not move, they should be sure to notify the employer on time.

    What happens if the employee refuses to relocate

    Most of the time, employees can refuse to relocate if they find it unreasonable. The employer can also be in breach of trust and confidence if they fail to consider the impact the move will have on the employee’s life. As mentioned earlier, employers can dismiss the employee on grounds of redundancy.

    The employee can also be offered re-engagement in a different location upon dismissal. If there’s a redundancy situation and the staff member has worked for the company for a certain term, they can be eligible for redundancy pay.

    If there’s already redundancy, then the employer can adhere to the mobility clause meaning the employee won’t need to be dismissed on grounds of redundancy, and neither will they receive any redundancy payment. If the employer decides to enforce the clause, the employee should be careful not to be dismissed over breach of contract.

    From the above, we can see that there’s a lot that goes into having a seamless office relocation process. Of course, with the right relocation company, the whole exercise will be much easier. However, if you have any enquiries or queries regarding your relocation as an employee, it’s advisable to seek legal advice from a professional.