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Thread: Can Employer change place of Work

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    Can Employer change place of Work

    Hey Guys,

    Kindly advise if you have any insight regarding the following:-

    A retail employee negotiated and signed a contract stating the place of work is a specific retail store in a specific shopping centre, can the employer now turn around to the employee after 3 years of employment and advise the employee that he/she has to move to another shopping centre which is an additional 30km further away and has additional costs of parking etc?
    The employer has refused to compensate for the additional petrol and parking etc.

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    Not sure if you are the employer or the employee, but company's move, business move, shops and retail outlets move for whatever reason - maybe business is quite or they are battling for whatever reason !! So my question to you is - if a company is not doing a great job in a specific location - what would you expect them to do ?? They can do one of three things only - they can either carry on till they do close, they can move or they can close up shop right now !! It is a tough one to somtimes compensate for the additional petrol and parking etc etc, but it sounds like the employer doesnt really need that specific employee so its a kind of situation that you either go with the flow and move with the company or dont and resign !

    Or its a situation where the employee is no longer needed at the current place of work and is needed at another ........ I personally think that in todays hard times we should be gratefull that we do have work and move if your boss asked you to !

    This is coming from my perspective of being a business owner myself. I also moved a couple of years ago - I did try to move relatively close to transport for my staff, but there were one or two that it did not suit ..... so they left !

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    If the contract of employment specifically states the location of the retail outlet then I would imagine there's a good case for the employee to either claim any extra expenses or possibly even refuse to relocate if the existing store is still trading. I would personally approach the CCMA for advice if I were the employee.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyD View Post
    If the contract of employment specifically states the location of the retail outlet then I would imagine there's a good case for the employee to either claim any extra expenses or possibly even refuse to relocate if the existing store is still trading. I would personally approach the CCMA for advice if I were the employee.
    but does the contract actually state that said employee should remain at the current branch, or that he / she could be relocated if needed? This sounds to me similar to what happened to a few people I know recently. My sister in law works for the police and had to relocate to another branch one day since the station she used to work at didn't need her particular skills set anymore.

    A friend who works at Standard bank had to relocate from the branch she worked at for the past 15years to one that's closer to home. Another friend's whole branch is moving from Boksburg to Greenstone in Edenvale. She lives 10minutes from the current branch but in the near future she'll have to travel more than an hour through Galloolys to get to work.

    I know this is "the norm" in chain stores, banks, car dealerships, etc.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnSilver View Post
    but does the contract actually state that said employee should remain at the current branch, or that he / she could be relocated if needed?
    The OP did clearly said that the location of the employment was specifically stated in the the contract. Maybe the employee was very clear about where they were willing to work. Maybe in negotiating this clause the employee sacrificed something else maybe they accepted a lower salary. I dont know but I would say that gven this the employer would have to negotiate rather than dictate. Forcing relocation by the employer would surely be a breach of this term of the contract.


    Quote Originally Posted by tdardis View Post
    ....negotiated and signed a contract stating the place of work is a specific retail store in a specific shopping centre, can the employer now turn around to the employee after 3 years of employment and advise the employee that he/she has to move to another shopping centre
    I guess a copy of the contract would be required to advise further. Maybe tdardis could attach a copy with the names blanked out. CCMA would still be my best suggestion unless the employee has access to a labour lawyer.
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    Is the current outlet relocating(ie - current store is closing), or is this a transfer to another store while the previous store continues operating?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    I think an employee is being difficult about moving. Circumstances change for companies - why make it more difficult for the company. ........... And ultimately yourself. ?

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I suggest the circumstances need to be better understood before any conclusions are drawn.

    Are there material changes to the contract?
    If so, what are they and why?
    And what are the alternatives available?

    So far we have only one dimension in this puzzle. It's not enough to work with.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    If you are working in the same chain of a retail business then i think then you can change the working relation.

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