I have a member who in 2008 was issued with a standard statement of terms and conditions. However he has now been issued with a new statement and a handbook as an extension. Whereas we would welcome some of its contents, there are a considerable number of issues with the remainder. One such issue is the right of search. The Company have stated that they have a contractual right to carry out searches of employees and their property (including vehicles) whilst they are on their premises. It states “you might be asked to remove the contents of your pockets, bags, vehicles and lockers. They will be conducted randomly. However if you refuse the right to be searched your lack of co-operation may be taken into account when considering disciplinary action.” My question is if it has not formed part of an original term either express or implied can they simply just introduce it and is it in any way conflicting with the employees' civil or human rights?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 4 October 2011
A&L Goodbody
A&L Goodbody
Issues covered:

There are three ways in which an employer can introduce new terms and conditions into an employment contract - either with the consent of the employee, by virtue of a variation clause that exists in the original contract (provided the new terms and conditions are reasonable) or by obtaining the implicit consent of the employee (which involves introducing the new terms in practice and not receiving any objection from the employee).

Even if there is a variation clause within this contract, there is no doubt that the right to search an employee and any resulting physical contact with the employee should be consented to by the employee.

It may well be a civil wrong to search an employee and

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

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A&L Goodbody
A&L Goodbody

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