In the case of Norman and others v National Audit Office UKEAT/0276/14, the Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT") confirmed that flexibility clauses in employment contracts which seek to give employers the right to make unilateral changes to the contract’s terms will be interpreted restrictively against employers. Nowadays it is fairly common to see a ‘flexibility clause’ in employees’ terms and conditions of employment. However, if a contract already has a flexibility clause in it, then it could be said that the employee has already given consent for changes. You must still act reasonably. This means that a party accepts the rest of a contract, even if there is an exploitable clause elsewhere in the contract. Employment status of your staff . Rest or meal breaks . We're often asked about the section in employment contracts where it states that you may be asked to carry out duties in addition to your role that are deemed reasonable. Flexibility clauses, such as a mobility clause, operate on two principles: The greater the detriment, the more narrow the interpretation by the courts; and They are subject to the implied terms of the employment relationship. This is a clause that allows employers to change any terms or conditions within your contract without asking you. However, in order to maintain a degree of flexibility to allow for circumstances whereby it may be necessary to require employees to move from one location to another, relocation or A common example of a clause providing flexibility is a mobility clause, which requires employees to move their place of work in line with the employer’s business needs. For example, if the issue is relocation, the distance that you are … They may try and use a general variation term to change your job description but they're unlikely to be able to rely on a variation term in making changes that will significantly disadvantage you, such as taking overtime away from you or reducing your number of working hours. An employment agreement or contract of employment also contains various terms and conditions to which both the employer and employee are bound. Mobility clauses may be used in various scenarios, such as: The employee is occasionally required to travel. The statement should also include the flexibility of the business to review the policies in line with business operations. Flexibility. Working Hours. This may be due to the closure of an office or workplace or a change in the work carried out at a particular location or for another reason. These are express terms in a contract which can enable employees to make changes to an employee’s terms and conditions. A mobility clause in a contract of employment provides flexibility and permits the employer to demand that the employee moves to a different location to work.. A mobility clause can also require an employee to move within certain limits, for example to any of the employer’s sites within 20 miles of the current workplace’ or to locate elsewhere within the UK. An employer and employee or a group of employees covered by this enterprise agreement may agree to make a flexibility arrangement to vary the effect of terms of the agreement if the arrangement meets the genuine needs of the employer and employee/s and the arrangement is genuinely agreed to by the employer and employee/s, and results in the employee/s being better off overall than … Call us for free on This is a clause that allows employers to change any terms or conditions within your contract without asking you. All employees are entitled to receive a written statement of their terms and conditions of employment. The exact wording will be important to decide whether the change is allowed. You will have agreed with them the details of the job, ideally confirming this in writing with a signed contract which lists the terms and conditions. Your email address will not be published. Read our expert insight into flexibility clauses and variation terms in employment contracts. … Mobility Clauses. Flexibility clauses can be specific such as dealing with defined issues, such as working hours, or be used more generally to change a contract in ways an employer may not have predicted. Secondly, check your employment contract to see if there is a general variation term. Accordingly, in the absence of any contract… Probationary period. However, the mobility clause needs to be reasonable, … Individual clauses in the employment contract may be drafted so as to allow you a certain degree of latitude or discretion should the need arise during the course of employment. If you're certain that you do not agree to a change made to your job title or any additional responsibilities added to your role then you should make it clear that you don't agree to the change and state why in writing to your employer. However, it is not wise to simply vary a contract even if it does have a specific flexibility clause in it which seems to give an employer the power to make the change as employers need to be reasonable in the changes they make in using flexibility clauses and case law suggests that tribunals and courts commonly place a narrow interpretation on what such clauses allow. Employment contracts must include a place of work. Employees may have concerns about a change, and employers should take these on board and seek to resolve problems or find routes to a compromise before implementing a change, even if it is provided for by the contract. Newsroom  >   One of the terms that an employer must provide is the employee's normal place of work. However, you should note that this only allows employers to make reasonable … dismiss and rehire an employee without notice. If you're unsure about the position, contact our employment experts online or by calling on freephone 0330 107 6514. These terms and conditions must be provided to the employee before or at the time of signing off the agreement so that he/she can … Severability clause: this clause states that a party can enforce the contract even if there’s an invalid clause in the contract. Should it be necessary for the Employer to reduce its working forces, this reduction will be accomplished by lay off in accordance with the provisions as set forth in Article 8 in preference to a reduced … employee’s employment with _____ for any reason the employee shall not solicit business from current clients or clients who have retained _____ in the 6 month period immediately preceding the employee’s termination. An example basic contract of employment is found on page 6. Many employers write flexibility into their employment contracts at the outset, to give themselves the discretion to make changes later, without having to get agreement. The lesson for employers to take away from this is certainly not that mobility clauses are unenforceable and so there is no merit in including them within an employment contract. For example, your flexibility clause may involve relocation, whereby you may ask employees to work shifts at nearby branches of your shops if required. An important starting point is to look at the employee’s contract of employment to see if there is a flexibility or mobility clause that is applicable. Independent Legal Advice The Employee acknowledges that the Employer has … While you do not need to necessarily specify exact times and duration, your employment contract templates should reference the entitlement to take rest and meal breaks. As these are common concerns that people have about their employment contracts we thought it would help to explain how an employer might be able to make changes to your job title and duties. However, the right to vary the terms of a contract … These are express terms in a contract which can enable employees to make changes to an employee’s terms and conditions. 10. Check the flexibility clause wording to see: what the employer can specifically change What will the office Christmas party look like this year – some top tips. Courts and tribunals only … This will include consulting the employee. Clause 11.01 This section sets forth work schedules.The provisions within this section shall not be read or construed as a guarantee of continuous employment. An employer may not vary the terms of a contract without the consent of an employee. A lot of contracts include something called a ‘flexibility clause’. If there is, it will make the change much easier. staff . Caution is always required when relying on such clauses, in particular, employers are required to act reasonably and responsibly towards their employees in doing so. An employer might be breaking a contract's terms and conditions (in 'breach of contract') if they: force a change without the employee's agreement or a flexibility clause in the contract. In order to maintain flexibility in this regard, and to allow for situations whereby transferring the … Home  >   Are mobility clauses enforceable? Yes, even where an employer has flexibility under the contract to vary a term or condition unilaterally, it must act reasonably in doing so and exercise its discretion in a way that does not breach the implied term of mutual trust and confidence between the employer and the employee. We are an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for insurance mediation activity. To have flexible working rights, the staff member must have 26 weeks' continuous employment, and hasn't made a statutory request in 12 months, they can request flexible working (such as working from home). Secondly, check your employment contract to see if there is a general variation term. Rest and meal breaks have recently been formally reinstated. 0330 107 5052, If the wording of your contract already allows your employer to make the changes to your role, If your contract includes a specific flexibility clause relating to your job title and role which allows your employer to make changes, If your contract includes a general right to make changes to your terms (known as a variation term). Is there a flexibility clause? One of our friendly advisors would be happy to speak to you. All rights reserved. The idea of these is to give the employer the ability to make changes to the terms where necessary. When an employment contract says you may be expected to carry out other ‘reasonable’ duties that are asked of you besides those associated with your main duties it is known as a ‘flexibility clause’. As an employer, you can make a change or variation to an employment contract in the following circumstances: 1. It’s a familiar sight in many employment contracts: a clause that … 3. Can your employer change your job title and responsibilities? a statutory director who is registered with Companies House) or a very senior manager with the title of ‘director’ or similar, you are likely to need a service contract not a simple employment contract. A contract of employment is a legally binding agreement between an employer and employee. This section specifies that you might want the employee to perform other duties separate from their main role. First of all - check your contract. The inclusion of a flexibility clause in your contract may enable the duties of your role to be changed within reason. Your employment contracts may include flexibility clauses, which give employers the right to change some conditions of employment. Are your Contracts of Employment and Policies compliant and effective? Breach of contract could lead to legal action. Once the details have been agreed you will … People ask questions like “what is this?”, “what does it mean?” and “can my employer change my job?”. CookiesWe use cookies on our website to ensure you have the best experience while you are here. Employment contract is a bilateral agreement based on an offer, acceptance, consideration, competent parties, legal object and free consent. A breach of such terms or conditions shall lead to repudiation of the agreement. Flexibility in Individual Clauses. An employment contract is ente… By mutual or collective agreement, ie; where the employee individually agrees to the change, or where an agreement is negotiated between you, as the employer, with a trade union or staff association. Either way, legal advice in such matters is always a good idea. They can advise on whether you have to agree to the change or how you should object. Model Standard Contract . Slater and Gordon UK Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 125 446 327 and registered office 58 Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3HZ. There are three ways in which your employer can make changes to your employment contract: If any of these clauses are in your contract, this doesn’t mean that your employer can make the change without breaching your contract. Employers should consult employees on the intended change – a failure to do so could be considered a breach of trust and confidence implied in the contractual relationship between the two, and may lead to claims of breach of contract or constructive dismissal. Your . Employers can't change your job in any way they want to just because a variation term exists. An employment contract is a legally enforceable agreement stipulating the terms and conditions of the employment in addition to recognizing the rights, expectations, and obligations of both the employer and the employee. In the UK, the term ‘employee’ is defined by the Employment Rights Act 1996 as an individual who has entered into or works under a contract of service or apprenticeship, and they are a mixture of ‘express’ and ‘implied’ terms. For the employer, a mobility clause grants flexibility and allows them to demand that the employee change their location in order to work. However, even if an employer has included a mobility clause in employees’ contracts, that clause needs to be exercised reasonably. One of the key points we focused on in drafting contracts of employment was the need to provide for a flexibility and mobility type clause, permitting the employer to reasonably re-assign employees to other locations, duties, roles or reporting lines. If the employee will be a director of the company (i.e. In the case of Norman and others v National Audit Office UKEAT/0276/14, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) confirmed that flexibility clauses in employment contracts which seek to give employers the right to make unilateral changes to the contract’s terms will be interpreted restrictively against employers. Reasonableness will always be fact specific and … are likely to work a specified time each week. Quite the opposite – an express mobility clause is extremely important should an employer wish to have some degree of flexibility in relocation. Consider including a clause requiring them to resign from the directorship … However, do not presume that you can make any changes due to the clause being in place. Employers look for some ‘wriggle room’ in contracts by including ‘flexibility clauses’ when issuing contracts of employment. Required fields are marked *, You may use these HTML tags and attributes:
, Providing practical solutions for business, Latest information in Employment Legislation, Reducing the cost of dealing with employment issues. 2 . Check if there’s anything in the contract that says the employer can change (‘vary’) specific terms of employment, for example: hours or days worked; rates of pay; the place of work; Legally this is known as a ‘flexibility clause’ or ‘variation term’. Courts and tribunals only very rarely uphold these types of clauses. In accordance with the Terms of Employment (Information) Act, 1994 to 2014, employees are entitled to receive at the outset of employment a statement of their terms and conditions of employment, including specifying where the employee’s place of work will be. They need a certain amount of service with you. The best contracts have a robust mobility clause allowing an employee to be reassigned or relocated in the course of the employment. All the above information was correct at the time of publication. This type of clause tries to get around the general principle that any changes to your employment contract must be agreed by you. Slater and Gordon 2020. If there is a flexibility or variation term in your contract then that doesn't mean you can't challenge any changes to your contract that your employer wishes to make. Laws This agreement shall be governed by the laws of the Province of Ontario. Involving employees makes good business sense, as it drives up levels of employee engagement and motivation – and finding a compromise in a difficult situation is the best way of preserving good employment relations at work. 11. Such flexibility may be needed in the event, for instance, of: future requirements for changes in work practices; A mobility clause in an employment contract is a provision that requires the relevant employee to relocate if required to do so by their employer. If an employer goes too far in the changes they make then it could be a breach of trust and actually breach the contract you hold with them. This would include details of directors’ duties, etc. There is provision within the contract that allows for the change, often referred to as a flexibility or variation clause, or 2. If you decide to include this clause don’t list particular jobs, it may cause confusion as to what the individual’s role actually is. A mobility clause is a contractual provision that on the face of it allows an employer to require an employee to move their place of work to a different location on either a temporary or permanent basis. Flexibility clauses - What are they? Is there a flexibility clause? If a contract of employment contains a flexibility clause, does the employer have to consult with the employee before it implements a variation to his or her terms and conditions? written agreement used by an employer and employee to change the effect of certain clauses in their award or registered agreement Examine how broadly defined your job title and duties are in your contract and within any job description. The Court of Appeal has rejected a notion that such a clause is implied into a contract … This type of clause tries to get around the general principle that any changes to your employment contract must be agreed by you. A recent decision by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (Norman & Others v National Audit Office [2014] UKEAT 0276/14/1512) has emphasised the need for employers to ensure that “flexibility clauses” are drafted unambiguously and have contractual effect if they are to be effective.Background.

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