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  • FIRST POST
    • fluffyanimal
    • By fluffyanimal 8th Jun 17, 7:57 PM
    • 19Posts
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    fluffyanimal
    Terms of Employment - Conflict
    • #1
    • 8th Jun 17, 7:57 PM
    Terms of Employment - Conflict 8th Jun 17 at 7:57 PM
    Hi

    I've been employed with a company for over 20 years and as part of my terms of employment I am entitled to a company car and a fully expensed fuel card (within the UK), or a financial payment.

    For a large number of years, due to my work circumstances (home / office location) I utilised the company car / fuel card option. A number of years ago I opted to take the financial payment in leui of the company car / fuel card. It is probably pertinent to point out that the company car / fuel card are not neccessarily linked, i.e. I could have not taken the company car (used my own) but continued with the fully expensed fuel card if I had chosen to. I chose not to simply because when I chose to take the financial payment my role within the company had changed and I could be classified as a home worked and therefore any miles on business would be reimbursed.

    So, fast forward to today, and the same company wishes to change their policy and remove the fully expensed fuel card. They have gone about this in a very bad way (from my perspective), in a very draconian way and have basically stated that because I do not the fuel card it has been "deemed that I have voluntarilly given up the fuel card" and am therefore no longer entitled to it.

    There is no documentation to this effect, nothing documented within the comapnies own policy documents and I have not been advised (verbally or in written form) that this would be the case.

    So, from a employment law position, anyone with any experience of these types of situations and if it is worth arguing the point with the company?
Page 1
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 8th Jun 17, 9:35 PM
    • 3,332 Posts
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    sangie595
    • #2
    • 8th Jun 17, 9:35 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Jun 17, 9:35 PM
    There appears to be a word missing that makes the sense difficult to interpret. But I assume it says that you don't use the fuel card? In which case, so what - why wouldn't they take it back? You aren't using it.

    Bottom line - employers can change policies. If that is the case it should be done fairly. But I am struggling to see why any of this matters.
    • fluffyanimal
    • By fluffyanimal 8th Jun 17, 9:46 PM
    • 19 Posts
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    fluffyanimal
    • #3
    • 8th Jun 17, 9:46 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Jun 17, 9:46 PM
    Hi

    You are correct it should state that I currently do not use the fuel card but, others who do use the fuel card and are on the same terms of employment as myself are in the same boat.

    My point is that the 'package' that consitutes my terms of employment provided for either said company car and / or fully expensed fuel card, or a finacial payment in lieu of.

    Whilst companies may very well change policies, which they are entitled to do so, and which they have done; as an example they changed the company car policy for new employees from 2003 onwards but this change does not affect pre-existing employees, etc, etc.

    It is a change to my terms of employment and this, surely cannot be made without due consultation and consideration around what is considered reasonable and equitable?

    For example, if my role reverted to where I need to travel to an office this would entail significant cost to me, one which I would not have needed to bear under my terms of employment (fully expensed fuel card) albeit I would once this change is implemented.

    My point is that this is not simply just a change to policy, it is a change to my terms of employment.

    I was hoping I might get some input from any one with simialr expereince (change of terms of employment imposed) or from any employment lawyer or similar.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 8th Jun 17, 9:58 PM
    • 1,701 Posts
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • #4
    • 8th Jun 17, 9:58 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Jun 17, 9:58 PM
    What are you claiming to have lost?

    As far as I can read it, you were entitled to a car and fuel card or a financial payment, and you chose the payment.

    Now, again as far as I can tell, they have withdrawn the fuel card, but not the car. So what is the choice now? Car or financial payment? Have they reduced the payment, it that your complaint?
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 8th Jun 17, 10:23 PM
    • 3,615 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    • #5
    • 8th Jun 17, 10:23 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Jun 17, 10:23 PM
    I don't understand the issue either. If the card hasn't been used I presume you put in an expenses claim each month and get reimbursed that way. The company may have to pay a charge each month for the use of the fuel card system and can see a saving by not continuing to pay for something which isn't used. Or am I missing something?
    • LilElvis
    • By LilElvis 8th Jun 17, 10:32 PM
    • 3,035 Posts
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    LilElvis
    • #6
    • 8th Jun 17, 10:32 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Jun 17, 10:32 PM
    The precise wording of your employment contract may well be key. They have, previously, allowed you to chop and change how you take a vehicle/cash/fuel card but the wording in the contract might allow them to say that once you have made a choice then that is it. Someone more knowledgeable could doubtlessly confirm if the fact that you have been allowed to opt in and out of the various schemes now means that it has become an implied term.

    It would also be pertinent if the section of your contract relating to vehicles also says that it is dependent on prevailing policies in the staff handbook which are subject to change (or similar wording).

    Have you asked HR how they have arrived at their decision that they are legally allowed to vary your contract?
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 8th Jun 17, 10:42 PM
    • 3,332 Posts
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    sangie595
    • #7
    • 8th Jun 17, 10:42 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Jun 17, 10:42 PM
    Hi

    You are correct it should state that I currently do not use the fuel card but, others who do use the fuel card and are on the same terms of employment as myself are in the same boat.

    My point is that the 'package' that consitutes my terms of employment provided for either said company car and / or fully expensed fuel card, or a finacial payment in lieu of.

    Whilst companies may very well change policies, which they are entitled to do so, and which they have done; as an example they changed the company car policy for new employees from 2003 onwards but this change does not affect pre-existing employees, etc, etc.

    It is a change to my terms of employment and this, surely cannot be made without due consultation and consideration around what is considered reasonable and equitable?

    For example, if my role reverted to where I need to travel to an office this would entail significant cost to me, one which I would not have needed to bear under my terms of employment (fully expensed fuel card) albeit I would once this change is implemented.

    My point is that this is not simply just a change to policy, it is a change to my terms of employment.

    I was hoping I might get some input from any one with simialr expereince (change of terms of employment imposed) or from any employment lawyer or similar.
    Originally posted by fluffyanimal
    If you want an employment lawyer "or similar" - whatever that is - then pick up the phone, book an appointment and pay the bill. Don't come on a free site full of anonymous posters.

    For what it is worth, since our views are not of any interest to you, but maybe someone else will get some benefit.... They've imposed a change of terms which costs you not a penny. You may resign for breach of contract and try out your luck at a tribunal. You won't win, but feel free to do so. Seriously - this is an insignificant change which costs not a single thing to you, but one day you might have to travel to an office and pay the cost. Boo hoo. Everyone pays their travel to work. And that's what HMRC say too - you aren't entitled to travel expenses or payment from your employer for a commute. Reasonable and equitable is that emp0loyees pay their costs to get to work. And back again.

    BTW... I am "something similar" and really, there are people whose jobs are being lost every day, who are getting wage cuts, and working longer hours for less money, and you think that having to hand back a card you aren't using is a hardship? I thought I had heard it all...
    • Masomnia
    • By Masomnia 9th Jun 17, 2:09 AM
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    Masomnia
    • #8
    • 9th Jun 17, 2:09 AM
    • #8
    • 9th Jun 17, 2:09 AM
    Unless you're going to lose out as a result I don't see your case.

    Maybe you could argue it was a breach of your contract, but I suspect that if you're no worse off the most you'd be entitled to in the event of a successful constructive dismissal/breach of contract claim is your notice period.
    Last edited by Masomnia; 09-06-2017 at 2:14 AM.
    “I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.” - P.G. Wodehouse
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 9th Jun 17, 6:32 AM
    • 15,627 Posts
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    FBaby
    • #9
    • 9th Jun 17, 6:32 AM
    • #9
    • 9th Jun 17, 6:32 AM
    I chose not to simply because when I chose to take the financial payment my role within the company had changed and I could be classified as a home worked and therefore any miles on business would be reimbursed.
    So you decided to take the financial payment that came with being able to get your petrol cost reimbursed through claiming mileage. They have now realised that they were double paying staff that way, and looking at making savings for the company, have decided to impose you could only have one or the other.

    You're not happy not not be double paid for your petrol and using the argument that you should have a say in their change in policy. If that's the case, you are wrong. They can change their policies at all time without consultation. There are only some areas of employment they need to legally adhere to, but having to continue to double pay staff isn't one of them.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 9th Jun 17, 6:39 AM
    • 29,139 Posts
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    getmore4less
    I think what the OP is saying that is significant.
    (well not saying but it is wrapped up in there)

    Their T&C include the option of a Fuel card which for a BIK/salary tax adjustment cover the personal use including commuting.

    The change will remove that benefit.

    Currently their personal mileage makes the BIK charge outway the benefit of personal use so OP had opted for the cash option for the car and business mileage.

    Should the OP personal car usage increase for example if they were to return to commuting to work then they will not be able to go back to a fuel card when it is more beneficial.

    Most company car policies I have seen/used have wiggle room to allow the employer to adjust the way they provide the benefits.
    Last edited by getmore4less; 09-06-2017 at 6:41 AM.
    • fluffyanimal
    • By fluffyanimal 9th Jun 17, 10:25 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    fluffyanimal
    The precise wording of your employment contract may well be key. They have, previously, allowed you to chop and change how you take a vehicle/cash/fuel card but the wording in the contract might allow them to say that once you have made a choice then that is it. Someone more knowledgeable could doubtlessly confirm if the fact that you have been allowed to opt in and out of the various schemes now means that it has become an implied term.

    It would also be pertinent if the section of your contract relating to vehicles also says that it is dependent on prevailing policies in the staff handbook which are subject to change (or similar wording).

    Have you asked HR how they have arrived at their decision that they are legally allowed to vary your contract?
    Originally posted by LilElvis
    Hi

    In their communications they have stated that they have 'deemed that I have voluntarily given up the fuel card'.

    I have requested any sort of policy documents or other documentation that covers this aspect but none has been forthcomming.
    • fluffyanimal
    • By fluffyanimal 9th Jun 17, 10:46 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    fluffyanimal
    Having posted I was looking for people experiences, views, opinions, but wow, I didn't expect the below diatribe

    If you want an employment lawyer "or similar" - whatever that is - then pick up the phone, book an appointment and pay the bill. Don't come on a free site full of anonymous posters.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    Ummm, this is a really good site with some very insightful and knowledgeable posters (excluding some) so, why wouldn’t I before weighing my options and considering taking professional advice?

    For what it is worth, since our views are not of any interest to you
    Originally posted by sangie595
    Really don’t know where this understanding came from. Perhaps you were just having a bad day.
    , but maybe someone else will get some benefit.... They've imposed a change of terms which costs you not a penny. You may resign for breach of contract and try out your luck at a tribunal. You won't win, but feel free to do so. Seriously - this is an insignificant change which costs not a single thing to you, but one day you might have to travel to an office and pay the cost. Boo hoo.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    Doesn’t cost me a penny currently, in my current role. I have been through a number of roles within this company (part of the reason I have stayed so long with them), utilising the payment option or company car / fuel card as appropriate.

    Yes, boo hoo to me, my nearest office now being 78 miles away.

    Considering the implications of things in the future and not just today is what reasonable people tend to do.

    Everyone pays their travel to work. And that's what HMRC say too - you aren't entitled to travel expenses or payment from your employer for a commute. Reasonable and equitable is that emp0loyees pay their costs to get to work. And back again.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    What a complete waste of your own time. Employers will often provide to facilitate employees getting to work. In my case the company provided the option of a company car / fuel card or financial payment but, when I utilised the company car / fuel card I am taxed on both. Similarly my own company (for head office staff) provide a free bus service from the head office to local pick up points (due to its location). I doubt my company is far from unique.

    BTW... I am "something similar" and really, there are people whose jobs are being lost every day, who are getting wage cuts, and working longer hours for less money, and you think that having to hand back a card you aren't using is a hardship? I thought I had heard it all...
    Originally posted by sangie595
    You seem to have a habit of putting emotional words in my mouth where none existed. Before writing this did you at all consider that all of the above (bar being made redundant) has already happened to me and perhaps whilst this aspect may appear menial to you it is one more thing. This is a factual question regarding terms of employment.
    • fluffyanimal
    • By fluffyanimal 9th Jun 17, 10:50 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    fluffyanimal
    So you decided to take the financial payment that came with being able to get your petrol cost reimbursed through claiming mileage. They have now realised that they were double paying staff that way, and looking at making savings for the company, have decided to impose you could only have one or the other.

    You're not happy not not be double paid for your petrol and using the argument that you should have a say in their change in policy. If that's the case, you are wrong. They can change their policies at all time without consultation. There are only some areas of employment they need to legally adhere to, but having to continue to double pay staff isn't one of them.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    Hi

    Afraid you've got the wrong end of the stick, there is no double paying for fuel.

    If I use the fuel card I use it for all travel, personal / business but cannot claim any mileage from the comapny (for obvious reasons). When utilising the fuel card (with or without a company car) you are taxed (based on the cars emissions).

    If I take the finacial payment (which I am currently) I can claim from the company for business miles but not for personal miles.

    So, no double claiming.... if only
    • k3lvc
    • By k3lvc 9th Jun 17, 10:58 AM
    • 1,749 Posts
    • 2,683 Thanks
    k3lvc
    Having posted I was looking for people experiences, views, opinions, but wow, I didn't expect the below diatribe
    Originally posted by fluffyanimal
    Bad form/etiquette on attacking Sangie - one of the most helpful/honest posters on here.

    Your post is full of entitlement/emotion for a relatively small issue that doesn't affect you currently but may in the future.

    The world's changed in 20 years that you've been with the company and, unless you've missed it somewhere UK plc is in the !!!!.

    If the time comes where you have to travel to the office regularly then you negotiate with your employer - if they think you're worth keeping then they'll probably be flexible in some way - if they don't then unfortunately the choice/cost becomes your issue
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 9th Jun 17, 11:12 AM
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    sangie595
    You seem to have a habit of putting emotional words in my mouth where none existed. Before writing this did you at all consider that all of the above (bar being made redundant) has already happened to me and perhaps whilst this aspect may appear menial to you it is one more thing. This is a factual question regarding terms of employment.[/FONT]
    Originally posted by fluffyanimal
    I most certainly did consider that before posting. Did you consider that giving up something which involves absolutely no loss whatsoever to you might just be one of the elements necessary to make sure that you don't get made redundant??? Whinging about the loss of something that makes not a jot of difference to you, considered against all the things that could happen, and which happen routinely to employees every day, makes you sound totally entitled and completely self-centred.

    I put no emotional words into your mouth. You are the one who is whinging about nothing in particular. You are the one whose response to getting advice that you didn't like because it didn't agree with you was to "hope to get a lawyer or someone similar on here". And yes, it is entirely annoying to get people whose attitude is "tell me what I want to hear or I will rubbish your advice" as you did to posters here. You have no idea what any of us are - and would you believe it if we told you. For all we know you are a troll trying to wind people up - we get a lot of that. You were taken at face value, and your response was ungracious, to say the least.

    You may not like what I told you. I'm terribly sorry if a brief introduction to the real world was not to your liking. There is nothing "emotional" about pointing out to you how the world works now. You are lucky to have been happy and able to stay with one employer for 20 years. Few people can say that these days. But things have changed in 20 years. And a fuel card that you don't even use is very little to give up not to discover some of the less welcome facts of life in that world.
    • fluffyanimal
    • By fluffyanimal 9th Jun 17, 10:03 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    fluffyanimal
    I most certainly did consider that before posting. Did you consider that giving up something which involves absolutely no loss whatsoever to you might just be one of the elements necessary to make sure that you don't get made redundant??? Whinging about the loss of something that makes not a jot of difference to you, considered against all the things that could happen, and which happen routinely to employees every day, makes you sound totally entitled and completely self-centred.

    I put no emotional words into your mouth. You are the one who is whinging about nothing in particular. You are the one whose response to getting advice that you didn't like because it didn't agree with you was to "hope to get a lawyer or someone similar on here". And yes, it is entirely annoying to get people whose attitude is "tell me what I want to hear or I will rubbish your advice" as you did to posters here. You have no idea what any of us are - and would you believe it if we told you. For all we know you are a troll trying to wind people up - we get a lot of that. You were taken at face value, and your response was ungracious, to say the least.

    You may not like what I told you. I'm terribly sorry if a brief introduction to the real world was not to your liking. There is nothing "emotional" about pointing out to you how the world works now. You are lucky to have been happy and able to stay with one employer for 20 years. Few people can say that these days. But things have changed in 20 years. And a fuel card that you don't even use is very little to give up not to discover some of the less welcome facts of life in that world.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    Hi Sangie

    I'm afraid again, you have just got it completely wrong. I think you have read my post and original reply to yourself and have focused on the perceived trivial nature of my post and you have allowed your perception to then cloud how you have responded.

    No one is denying that in the scheme of things this is quite low on the totem pole but I posted looking for either peoples own experiences in similar situations or possibly from people who work within a HR or legal environment who may have opinions on the matter.

    Others have taken the time to post, and I thank them for taking the time and their views irrespective if their posts have a negative or positive slant towards my situation.

    The triviality, or not, of the situation is not what is in question, merely any similar experiences of people around changes to their terms of employment, or opinions.

    I'm more than willing to accept k3lvc comment that you are a respected poster but I would simply ask you to come back in a few days, re-read what and how you responded and consider if in fact you may have chosen to write things differently given another chance.
    Last edited by fluffyanimal; 09-06-2017 at 10:08 PM.
    • Wayne O Mac
    • By Wayne O Mac 9th Jun 17, 10:33 PM
    • 196 Posts
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    Wayne O Mac
    I'm more than willing to accept k3lvc comment that you are a respected poster but I would simply ask you to come back in a few days, re-read what and how you responded and consider if in fact you may have chosen to write things differently given another chance.
    Originally posted by fluffyanimal
    It's against the forum rules for me to call you an utter cretin, so I won't be doing that.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 9th Jun 17, 11:20 PM
    • 3,332 Posts
    • 5,519 Thanks
    sangie595
    Hi Sangie

    I'm afraid again, you have just got it completely wrong. I think you have read my post and original reply to yourself and have focused on the perceived trivial nature of my post and you have allowed your perception to then cloud how you have responded.

    No one is denying that in the scheme of things this is quite low on the totem pole but I posted looking for either peoples own experiences in similar situations or possibly from people who work within a HR or legal environment who may have opinions on the matter.

    Others have taken the time to post, and I thank them for taking the time and their views irrespective if their posts have a negative or positive slant towards my situation.

    The triviality, or not, of the situation is not what is in question, merely any similar experiences of people around changes to their terms of employment, or opinions.

    I'm more than willing to accept k3lvc comment that you are a respected poster but I would simply ask you to come back in a few days, re-read what and how you responded and consider if in fact you may have chosen to write things differently given another chance.
    Originally posted by fluffyanimal
    Sorry but in a few days you and this post will be relegated to the out tray. So I won't be reading it. You'll just have to go with the fact that right now got sound like a totally entitled princess, who wants nothing to ever change even though it means nothing to you. Truth be told, it'd still sound like that in a few days too...

    And I already said this - I posting from exactly the perspective you said you wanted. Obviously what you meant to add was that they had to agree with you. If something is trivial, it's trivial. I told you before, IF, and is a big if, this really is a contractual term, you can resign and claim unfair dismissal. But you certainly will not win. There is no loss (except for your employment). But if you really think this is worth that, then you must decide that. You've been warned not to go there, and if you decide otherwise, because you'd rather hang on to something that you don't actually use or need, then that is your choice... This is the real world, and risking what you have for something you don't need is ridiculous.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 10th Jun 17, 11:38 AM
    • 1,701 Posts
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    It's against the forum rules for me to call you an utter cretin, so I won't be doing that.
    Originally posted by Wayne O Mac
    You're right; and it may be helpful to the OP, who is new to the forum, to point out that if anyone were to call them an entitled w****r, an idiotic little f***womble or an arrogant a***wipe, that too would be against forum rules. OP, if anyone calls you those things, be sure to report them.
    • fluffyanimal
    • By fluffyanimal 10th Jun 17, 2:25 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    fluffyanimal
    Sorry but in a few days you and this post will be relegated to the out tray. So I won't be reading it. You'll just have to go with the fact that right now got sound like a totally entitled princess, who wants nothing to ever change even though it means nothing to you. Truth be told, it'd still sound like that in a few days too...
    Originally posted by sangie595
    Ah well, I feel for you, but that is your prerogative and that is fine. If I could use a simple analogy, you just seem to have gone down the path of arguing that drink driving is so far down the list of crimes compared to murder that in the real world scheme of things we shouldn't really focus on it as there are far more important crimes to worry about.


    Again, I thank the posters who responsded with their views on the specific subject (postive or negative) and will leave this little enclave of the forum to the roaming gang.
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