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September 2017 Newsletter – Manufacturing & Engineering Sector

It’s September and as memories of the summer holidays begin to fade hopefully we can help focus on back to work with our HR/Employment law update. It’s a return to the old routine for the Government and the courts too and we look at proposed reforms to data protection, increase in injury to feelings awards in discrimination cases and ACAS guidance on gender reassignment and parents with ill babies.

Our case update this month focuses on a recent decision by the ECHR on the balance between workplace monitoring and human rights and the equal pay decision by the EAT that ASDA’s retail store staff (usually female) can compare themselves with distribution centre staff (usually male).

What we’ve been doing in the Manufacturing & Engineering sector recently…

We have dealt with a few queries from our manufacturing clients about moving employees’ places of work.  The starting point with advice is what is in the contract, is there a mobility clause? One client has asked whether, thinking ahead, it is possible to have a UK wide mobility clause.

The fact is that an employer is allowed to have a UK-wide mobility clause, there is no requirement for an express mobility clause of this sort to be “reasonable”. The caveat is how the clause is enforced, you need to make sure you give reasonable notice to enforce the clause. What is reasonable is relatively fact specific but we would suggest a minimum of one month’s notice and you might want to consider offering help with relocation expenses.

If you don’t have an express clause you still have an implied right to move the employee within reasonable daily travelling distance of their home, but obviously that would be very fact specific and so it is likely to be better to have a well drafted clause in the contract in the first place.

Simon Martin
Partner, Solicitor
email Simon or call 0117 325 0929


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