When a company decides to allow its workers to work and live elsewhere, it is vital that they come to terms with the fact that any movement will give rise to changes in terms of an employment contract. If a company decides to move as a whole, this also means that both the employee and employer will have obligations and rights with regards to the move. The employee’s situation will vary based on the terms of their contract; for example, some contracts have a section that covers a ‘mobility clause’ which may point out the specifications of employees having to move within certain limits. This clause is helpful in listing the terms that make moving with the company reasonable. While relocating can be a fantastic opportunity for those looking to challenge themselves and create a new life for themselves elsewhere in the world, it is incredibly important that employers and employees alike act responsibly to ensure that their rights are protected as best as possible.
Contractual considerations for the employer
There are some key areas that any employer should take into consideration should they choose to relocate their employees to work with their company. These include the following:
- The distance that the company intends to move and how the distance impacts their workers
- The transport links at the new location and other practical issues, such as access to local amenities and facilities
- The notice period in terms of offering sufficient time for relocation
- The number of employees that will be affected by the move as a whole
- What are the proposed timescales for relocation – are these reasonable for the distance involved?
The Mobility Clause
The employer must also consider the following when it comes to the mobility clause found within a contract:
- Is there a trial period offered up at the relocation destination?
- Should a relocation package be offered up to new employees – how important is this for you?
- Is the existing mobility clause still adequate enough or should it be amended?
- Has reasonable notice been given for the move? Should a consultation relating to this take place?
Relocation also poses problems for the employer when it comes to discrimination. The following factors should be carefully considered to ensure the appropriate actions are taken with regards to employee inequity:
- The relocation process should not negatively impact any individual or group of employees in the workforce
- The employee is responsible for addressing disability access and transportation solutions for the new premises being relocated to
- Appropriate measures need to be taken when it comes to accommodating the needs and requirements of disabled workers
Reasonable and unreasonable relocation issues
The issue of redundancy pay is something that is commonly associated with relocation and is a hard issue to inspect. Redundancy pay might depend on how long an employee has been working at the company and also whether the employee has a reasonable response as to why they have refused the chance to relocate.
When it comes to addressing the subject of distance in terms of relocating a company, it is important to remember that there is no fixed distance that is deemed reasonable – it all depends on the specific circumstances of the business. If the new location is a few miles away and offers flexible transportation routes, then it would be unreasonable for an employee to not relocate. If the move is far more extensive and affects someone personally for this reason, then it could well be reasonable that an employee will disagree to the relocation.
Regardless of whether you are an employee or employer looking to find out more about our relocation services, rest assured that you have come to the right place. At Santa Fe we are committed to assisting corporate and consumer relocation so be sure to get in touch to find out more about how we can help you today.