9

Contractual place of work and hybrid working

We are in the process of informing and consulting with our staff regarding a change to our hybrid working policy from April. At present the guidance is to work from the office one day each week, and the remainder from home. Our proposed change is to increase this to 2 days each week from April of this year, with a view to increasing this to 3 days from April 2025.

Most of our employees are contractually based from the office (ie their place of work), however we have some employees who are contractually based from home. We would like this group of employees to fall in line with this change to the hybrid policy also, for those who live within a reasonable commutable distance from the office.

My question is this - for this group of people who are based from home contractually, do we need to ask them to sign a variation to contract as acceptance of this change, or is issuing a new hybrid working policy companywide (with the changes laid out) sufficient.

Thanks for your help!

1473 views
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    24 Jan, 2024 14:06

    Hi  

    Thanks for posting this. What type of business are you? 

    What reasoning has been articulated to your employees? What is the motivation behind the move? 

    Two really good discussions (from many) that we have had over recent months are...

     RE: Compulsory Return to the Office 

     Removal of hybrid working for return to the office for 5 days... 

  • In reply to Steve Bridger:

    Hi Steve, I did actually post the discussion about the Compulsory Return to the Office a few months ago, and had some really great responses and suggestions to it. We're an SME with c35 employees. I guess my question at this time is around whether we need to formalise working from the office for x no of days for those whose contracts state they are home based rather than office based. Does this constitute a variation to their contract terms and conditions?
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    24 Jan, 2024 14:13

    In reply to Estelle:

    Oh my, so you did. I didn't clock that. Sorry.
  • In reply to Estelle:

    Looks like a major unilateral change to their term and conditions to me (for which you need agreement)
  • In reply to Steve Bridger:

    No worries Steve, as you can tell the situation is progressing somewhat!!
  • In reply to Estelle:

    Agree with PS that for those who you have contracted to work from home you cant now unilaterally change this. Not sure the commute distance is the only factor to consider here and I would expect this to be very challenging given you have already "decided" what the solution is

    If they have more than two years service then any sucg change may well lead to unfair dismissal. 

  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    24 Jan, 2024 15:25

    The gradual transition 'back to the office' sounds like a compromise from where you might have been a few months ago, ... but like Keith says, this is going to be challenging!
  • Estelle, good luck and you have some great advice and pointers below for what you are proposing to do. This looks, from the outside, less of a consultation and more about informing staff of your plans. I trust you have productivity data and real concrete reason for moving people back to the office for those number of days over quite a protracted period of time and are concurrently working on plans to make the office a go to destination for good work for your people.

    I also imagine you will have plans in place to recruit new staff as you might see a turnover in staff, especially for those who joined on the basis they would be working from home. I'm not sure I'd feel a strong engagement with my employer if I joined on the basis home would be may base and then you want to change that.
  • In reply to Steve Bridger:

    Legal issues aside for a minute (and there are potentially many in relation to your proposal to change terms and conditions for fully remote contractual employees), why are you looking to do this? How will two days be better than one? Why do you want three eventually, and if this is so important then why are you waiting until 2025? If employees feel that this is arbitrary and cannot see the rationale you will inevitably get push back and retention issues.