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Topic: Contractual clauses

Requirement to live near work clause
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Requirement to live near work clause

Requirement to live near work clause

Use our clause in relation to those job roles that reasonably require the employee to live near work, such as office keyholders or certain “on call” workers. It’s better not to use the clause across the board as, really, it’s up to employees where they live and how they get to work. Our clause includes both distance and travel time requirements.

Recruitment criterion

Whilst you can’t change existing employees’ employment contracts to include this sort of clause unless you have their express agreement - and they’re not going to ever agree if they already live outside your proposed defined radius - in theory, there’s nothing to stop you making a residence criterion a requirement of the job role for new recruits, e.g. that they must live within 20 miles of the workplace. If you reject job applicants simply for living too far away, this wouldn’t be directly discriminatory provided you apply it across the board, regardless of sex, race, etc., and, to avoid indirect discrimination, check it doesn’t adversely impact on a particular protected group, such as women. If it does, you would then need to be able to objectively justify the criterion. However, if you have this type of general rule, you risk losing out on good job applicants and significantly limiting your pool of candidates for selection, particularly in roles where there are skills shortages or in specialist roles. Plus, everyone’s commute is different and travel time can vary depending on the mode of transport, the route taken, the time of day and where the person lives relative to the workplace, so a distance requirement often has no bearing on actual travelling time.

Clause requirements

If you want to insert a residence requirement into employment contracts, use our Requirement to Live near Work Clause. To deal with the travel time point, our clause has alternatives enabling you to specify a maximum mileage radius from the employee’s normal place of work and/or a maximum number of minutes in travelling time from it. If an employee later breaches the clause by moving home farther away from work, be aware that you may face difficulties in enforcing it. If they’re still arriving for work on time, performing their full job duties and not leaving early, you’re realistically not going to be able to discipline them for anything, as their breach of the clause hasn’t affected their ability to perform their job. If, however, their timekeeping or performance levels slip, then you’d be able to deal with that as a disciplinary or performance management issue, and here you could bring in their breach of the clause.

Part of job duties

Where our clause is particularly useful though is in relation to those employees who are in specific job roles which require them to live within a certain distance, or travelling time, of the workplace, e.g. a manager who is the office keyholder and whose duties include coming into work to deal with an out-of-hours emergency, or “on call” workers who need to get to work quickly if they’re urgently needed. In this scenario, time and distance are much more critical. So, we’ve included an optional provision in our clause stating that the residence requirement is in place because of the nature of the employee’s particular job duties. You can set out what relevant duties that includes. In this scenario, you would be justified in taking disciplinary action in the event of breach of the clause.

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