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What to Do if Your Employer Wants to Change Your Place of Work?

Changing your place of work can be disruptive. It may mean a longer or less convenient journey to get there each day. It could mean rearranging childcare commitments and, in some cases, it can mean uprooting your family and moving them to a new home. 

Faced with these challenges, many employees just resign and look for another job instead. However, you are often entitled to a Redundancy payment in this situation and you may even be able to claim Unfair Dismissal.

There are two different scenarios to consider. The first is when the employer remains the same but it decides to change the place of work for a business reason. The second is when one employer takes over the business of another, based in a different location, and the employees move from one to another in what is known as a TUPE transfer.

When the employer stays the same, your rights will depend on your Employment Contract. There will sometimes be a mobility clause which allows the employer to change your place of work. Depending on what the mobility clause says and the reasonableness of the move required, you may still be able to challenge it. For example, if your contract says that you can be sent to work anywhere in the UK and you are moved from London to Carlisle, this may well be unreasonable and you may well be able to make a claim. If there is no mobility clause, an attempt to change your workplace may mean you are considered redundant, if you are not prepared to accept it.

In a TUPE scenario, the new employer was not allowed to use the transfer as a reason to change the place of work, even if the new employer was based in a different location from the old one. The case of Tapere v South London & Maudsley NHS Trust decided that, if there was such a change to the place of work, this was an automatically Unfair Dismissal. In January 2014, the law was changed so that this is no longer the case. However, many employees will still be entitled to receive a Redundancy payment in this situation. Some employers may try to use TUPE as a way of trying to avoid making Redundancy payments so this is a very important right.

If you don’t want to move to a new location, it is very tempting just to resign. However, you could lose your right to a Redundancy payment or other claim if you resign too soon. So if your employer wants you to move, we strongly recommend seeking specialist legal advice.

For more information call Slater and Gordon Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online.