Can my employer dismiss me for refusing to change to homeworking?

The first question here is, are you an employee? See our section on the differences between an employee and a worker. Only employees are protected from unfair dismissal.

Whether your refusal to work from home is a lawful reason for terminating the employment relationship will depend on all the circumstances. It is most likely to be fair if, for example:

  • your employer has a good business case for asking staff to work from home – for example a genuine wish to save costs by reducing office space;
  • your employer has considered all the alternatives and discussed these with you;
  • your employer has engaged in a fair procedure by giving you as much warning as possible of the planned changes, consulting with you and listening and trying to take into account your concerns; and
  • your employer has taken steps to address all the practical concerns that go with working from home.

Speak to your trade union if you are concerned.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.