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UK: Homeworking: Location-based pay

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) operates two pay ranges: a London rate (defined to include certain counties in the south-east region) and a national rate. An annex to the CPS pay rules states that the applicable pay range is determined by “the location of the permanent workplace, as set out in the employee contract”.

Ms McKenzie-Bayliss was working as a solicitor for the CPS when in 2012 she was seconded from the London team to CPS Direct. It was an express term of the secondment agreement that this was a home-based role, which she carried out from her home in Bedford. In 2017, after requesting to move to the CPS in north-east England for family reasons, it was agreed she would move her home to the north-east but continue to work for the south-east region which was understaffed. The CPS continued to pay her the London rate in error until September 2021, when it reduced her salary to the national rate.

Ms McKenzie-Bayliss sought a declaration that she was entitled to continue to be paid the London rate because she was carrying out work for the CPS south-east region (which includes counties covered by the London Rate).

The tribunal noted the express wording in Mrs McKenzie-Bayliss’ secondment agreement: “your home address will become your permanent work location resulting in a potential change to your pay location”. It found that her permanent workplace was her home address, and that when she moved to the north-east, her entitlement to pay should have changed to the national rate.

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This is a tribunal decision, so it will not be binding on other tribunals.

In this case, it was evident from the contractual documentation that the purpose of the two rates was not relevant to the type of work done, but to the place where the work is carried out – and that the London rate was intended to reflect living costs for employees based in the south-east.

McKenzie-Bayliss v The Crown Prosecution Service