By Charles Power
If you ever need to relocate an employee, there are a number of factors that you must consider when determining whether it is reasonable for you to do so.
According to the law, you cannot relocate an employee if traveling to the new destination would impose unreasonable hardship on them.
Check out Charles’ article below to find out how you can tell what is reasonable and what is not when it comes to relocating an employee.
Until next time…
And now over to our editor-in-chief Charles Power…
When is relocation reasonable?
By Charles Power
Editor-in-Chief, Employment Law Practical Handbook
As an employer, there may come a time when you need to relocate an employee to another location. But before you relocate them, you must consider a number of factors to determine whether or not it is reasonable for you to do so.
These factors include:
- the distance of the relocation; and
- whether or not the employee’s contract of employment expressly states that you may direct the employee to work elsewhere from time to time.
Generally, the law recognises that employers can relocate employees provided that the relocation does not impose unreasonable hardship on employees to travel to the new location. For example, requiring a employee to travel to a different state is more likely to impose unreasonable hardship than requiring them to travel to a location that is a few kilometres away.
Other factors that may impose unreasonable hardship as a result of relocation include:
- the impact on the employee’s remuneration;
- adverse affects on the employee’s family responsibility and lifestyle; and
- the impact on the hours of work available to the employee (including the reduced availability of overtime).
If the relocation does impose unreasonable hardship on the employee, you may be exposed to unfair dismissal claims, claims for redundancy pay or claims for breach of employment contract.
If the employee in question is covered by a Modern Award, you must consult with them regarding any major workplace change. This means you must discuss with the affected employee (and their representative if applicable) the effect the relocation is likely to have on them. You will also need to discuss measures you could take to avert the adverse effects of the change.
You must give prompt consideration to any matters raised by the employee and/or their representative in relation to the relocation.
Employment Law Practical Handbook