Twitter to scrap it’s work from home policy
What does this mean for you?
Chief Twit (his words) Elon Musk, further to his mass staff cull, has scrapped Twitter’s working from home policy and ordered all staff back to the office. The question on most people’s lips when they hear about this will be “could my employer do the same to me?” This blog attempts to answer that very question.
The best place to start is your contract of employment, which probably lists a place of work. If your place of work is listed as an office building and your contract has no mention of a work from home policy, then your employer may be on safe ground to ask you to permanently return to the office.
However, if you have been working on a remote/hybrid basis for a long period of time, it is possible that your contract may have been impliedly varied by this practice. If that is the case, your employer will need your consent for you to return to the office on a full time basis. This comes with a caveat, though: If you are working on a remote/hybrid basis for a while but your employer has made it clear that it is a strictly temporary arrangement that is in place solely because of the pandemic, it is unlikely that any contractual variation has occurred and they probably will be able to insist on you returning to the office without your agreement.
If your contract specifies that you will work under a remote/hybrid working arrangement, any variation to this, for example a permanent return to the office, will need to be agreed by you.
So, what if you don’t consent to a variation of your contract that would see you returning to the office? Put simply, if you don’t agree, your employer cannot impose the change as this would be a breach of contract. However, they may be able to terminate your contract and re-engage you on their preferred revised terms. Obviously, this is risky for them as the termination of a contract could give rise to various court proceedings.
The employee/employer relationship is one of give and take, compromise and common sense. These two factors, along with good communication, should be enough to resolve any dispute around working location before solicitors need to be involved. If this is not the case, didlaw can help, so don’t hesitate to get in touch. This blog was written by Jack Dooley, Trainee Solicitor at didlaw.