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How easy is it to change your place of work?

28 June 2019

The ability to change an employee’s place of work can be essential for a business, whether it is a temporary move to cover a shortfall in staff in a particular office or a permanent move because of a business relocation.

In some cases, the contract of employment will include a specific mobility clause which reserves the employer the right to change to the contractual place of work. It is important to know, however, that an employer must act reasonably when enforcing its right to move an employee from one location to another. This may include consideration of the following:

  • The scope of the specific mobility clause. If it is drafted widely – for example, reserving the right to move the employee to anywhere within the UK – it will not be enforceable.
  • The parameters set by the mobility clause. If the clause provides for relocation within a certain geographical area, an employer cannot go further.
  • If it is a temporary relocation, how long the change may last.
  • The speed at which the move needs to happen. The more notice that is given, the more reasonable the request to change the place of work.
  • The impact of the move on an employee’s commute to work, especially those with families whose hours of work fit around childcare arrangements. Flexible hours may be implemented to enable staff to fulfil their roles.
  • The additional expense to an employee as a result of a longer commute. It may be necessary to cover an employee’s increased petrol or travel costs.

In the absence of a mobility clause, employees must give their consent to change their place of work. The employer may otherwise rely on a place of work redundancy, provided there is a genuine business reason to move the employee’s duties to another location.

By Michelle Tudor

For further advice on the above topics, please call us on 01483 543210 or alternatively email enquiries@barlowrobbins.com

Further Reading
  • Relying on Contractual Mobility Clauses to Avoid Redundancies (view page)