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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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For Ben Jones : For Ben Jones : My company has relocated

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For Ben Jones :

For Ben Jones : My company has relocated from London to Kent, can they use the following clause in the contract to make me move to the new work place permanently and not be breach of contract?

You will be employed in London.
You may required to work on a temporary or permanent basis at any other place where the company carries business after giving you sufficient notice. Your job may also involve occasional travel for the proper performance of your duties.

I have accepted to trial the new location but am planning to decline in order to take redundancy. However, there is a suggestion that if I decline the trial, I would be opting out for a "voluntary" redundancy instead of a "compulsory" redundancy and I would have to give notice in the new location or possibly at home.

My understanding is that, on declining the trial, I would have been made redundant by the company and I would have to be given notice by the company or be paid in lieu of the notice.

Ben Jones :

Hello, what is the difference in your company between compulsory and voluntary redundancy? Are you entitled to different things depending on which type of redundancy it is?


I don't know. On paper there is only mention of redundancy. But verbally I am being told it's voluntary redundancy.

Ben Jones :

Ok well voluntary redundancy (VR) is when you are given the chance to take redundancy and you accept it, in other words you are putting yourself forward for the redundancy and save the employer the trouble of going through a selection procedure.


Compulsory redundancy (CR) is when you have not agreed to be made redundant but your employer has selected you for redundancy following a selection exercise.


The clause does not give the employer the unconditional right to move you about. Even if a specific mobility clause exists it would be given a narrow interpretation and there are times it could still fail. The leading case is United Bank v Akhtar which held there are some implied terms in such situations which the employer should satisfy before they can rely on such clauses:

  • The employer should give reasonable notice of any move

  • The employer should, where reasonable, provide relocation expenses

  • The employer would not act in such a way so as to damage the relationship of trust and confidence which exists between employer and employee.


Saying that a VR and a CR are more or less the same from a legal point of view. Both are a redundancy, both would result in a redundancy payment, both are a dismissal in law.


In terms of notice, whether this is a VR or CR, you do not have the automatic right to be paid in lieu of notice and that is usually at the employer's discretion. The notice period would be the same - as per your contract.




would the consultation period that took place be counted towards the notice period or is that completely separate?

Ben Jones :

Consultation periods and notice periods are separate. The consultation precedes the notice period so once the consultation has been completed and it becomes evident you need to be made redundant, then the employer formally serves you with notice of redundancy and it is from the date you are served with notice that the notice period starts to run

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