Job location changed: ask the expert

I am currently on probation with a large company which was extended after 3 months for a further 3 months due to targets not being met. I was originally interviewed for a sales consultant job and was told it could be based at one of three stores in the area. When I got offered the post I was told it was for a store near to home so I took it with the understanding that occasional cover may be needed at other stores. After a few weeks I was asked to cover another store close to home which I agreed to. I then moved back to the original store for a few days only to be told I was moving back to the cover store permanently effective the next day. I went along with this as location wise it didn’t really affect me .I was then told I was to become a “floater”…covering all stores within up to a three-hour car journey away which I made clear I could not do due to no transport and childcare so the post was given to someone else (after them claiming I was interviewed to be a floater). I settled into my 2nd store very well for a couple of months when my manager casually told me one day that as 48 hours from then I was moving to the third store in a location that would mean finding private childcare and £300 approx costs extra per month. I expressed my concerns to my manager who agreed that as I was the only one in the area with a full time childcare requirements and no car it was unfair. After he spoke to the area manager he called to say that I was interviewed for any of the 3 stores (which is true although I would not have taken the job if I was offered the 3rd store) and that it was pretty much tough. It states in my contract that hours and location can change BUT given consultation and reasonable notice which I feel I wasn’t given. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Your contract of employment provides that the Company can change your hours and location, but you will need to be consulted and provided with reasonable notice.  The Company has not consulted with you, and I suggest that you raise a grievance about the way the Company has conducted itself.  The grievance should expressly state that the difficulties that you face in relation to working at the other store relates to childcare commitments and arranging childcare which is discriminatory.

It appears that you do not have the qualifying service to bring a claim for unfair dismissal; you require 2 years’ service if your employment started on 6 April 2012.  The same qualifying service applies to a claim for constructive unfair dismissal in the event that you have to resign because of their inflexibility.  However, you could potentially bring a claim for indirect sex discrimination, but this would be an extremely difficult claim to bring.


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