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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Law
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Im asked to relocate even though the company is not moving.

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I'm asked to relocate even though the company is not moving. My old job will be covered by a new shift rota. I will continue to doth same job butat a new location. The new location is almost double the distance, so time, cost will all be doubled. Is it reasonable or unreasonable for me to decline the new T&C's.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Does your contract say what your place of work is and if that could be changed?
Customer: It says I will be based at Greenwich and Croydon and may sometimes be asked to work from other depots temp. The new depot is Esher. When we worked at Croydon it was always out of Greenwich. We used work vehicles to get to Croydon!
Customer: The Croydon depot will go and now be Esher instead. Only they want us to drive to Esher direct and be based there, doubling our journey.
Customer: There is no mobility clause.
The starting point is that this is a potential redundancy situation. The Employment Rights Act 1996 defines a redundancy situation as falling within one of the following circumstances:

1. Business closure – where the whole of the employer’s business is closed
2. Workplace closure – closure or relocation of one or more sites
3. Diminished requirement for employees to carry out work of a particular kind.

Your situation will be covered by the second example, where a site is relocating.

In this case, the employer will have a duty to try and offer you suitable alternative employment in order to try and avoid having to make you redundant. As you appear to be aware, unreasonable refusal of such a position could make you lose out on any redundancy, so you either have to show that the refusal was reasonable or that the position was unsuitable in the first place.

The main issue here is the increased distance, which in turn would increase your commuting time and costs. There have been different cases dealing with similar situations and there is no straight answer to your query unfortunately. Here is nothing that says after an increase in X number of miles, the position would become unreasonable. It will always depend on the individual circumstances, as well as your personal situation.

For example, doubling of someone's commute from 5 miles to miles may not really be unreasonable but it would depend on the traffic to the new workplace, how it will affect your overall commute, etc. Similarly, doubling your commute from 15 mins to 30 mins in itself may not be unreasonable but the longer the time becomes the more argument you have it would be unreasonable

So you need to consider personally how this will affect you and if you believe that it is suitable position for you to work in, considering your personal circumstances.

I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating. Your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you
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