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When a company moves, both the employer and employee will have certain rights and obligations.

The location where staff work forms part of their contract of employment and any move will give rise to a change in the terms of the employment contract.

If an employer moves the location of their business, the employee’s situation depends firstly on the terms of their contract of employment. Some contracts include a ‘mobility clause’ which may state employees have to move within certain limits. Such mobility clauses can compel an employee to move to a new location and in circumstances allowed by the clause provided the terms are reasonable.

Key issues that the employer should take into account when relocating:

In terms of contracts, the employer must consider:

Discrimination is another important factor to consider when relocating:

The options available if the employee does not wish to relocate

If the employee does not want to relocate, redundancy may occur because:

Whether the employer has to pay redundancy depends on a number of factors. This will include the length of time the employee has been working. However, the most important factor is whether the employee has ‘unreasonably’ refused the offer of suitable alternative work.

There is no fixed distance to which is ‘reasonable’ as it depends on the circumstances. For example if the new location is just a few miles away and easily accessible by car or public transport, it would be ‘unreasonable’ for the employee to refuse the offer. However, if the change in location involves a difficult journey or affects personal issues, it may be ‘reasonable’ for the employee to refuse.

Redundancy is a form of dismissal so the employee may consider an unfair dismissal claim if they feel badly treated.

The employer must therefore:

Useful Links

Handling Redundancy: http://www.acas.org.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=877&p=0
Employment Location: http://www.hrmanager.co.uk/con_terms_relocat.htm

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER
This document is prepared as a brief guide and must not be relied upon or considered as comprehensive. Professional advice should always be sought.

If you have a specific query, visit the property professionals section of the site and e-mail one or all of the property agents listed. Each firm selected by this site has departments with expertise in this field.

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