Home > Losing Your Job > Your Rights when your Company Relocates

Your Rights when your Company Relocates

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 12 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Employment Contract Relocation

Workers are increasingly expected to be more mobile these days and in today's whirlwind of takeovers and mergers there sometimes seems to be precious little organisational stability. Companies can relocate for a number of reasons, such as consolidating properties after a merger to move two workforces into one place, taking advantage of cheaper overheads, or setting up a presence in a new territory to expand their market.

Is the Move a Blessing or a Curse?

If your company is moving to a location that you like, perhaps to an area where houses are cheaper or the schools are better, and you are being offered the expense of relocation, then you may feel that the upheaval presents an opportunity that you're willing to take.

But for many people, the uprooting of children from schools where they are settled and moving away from family is too much. It could be that house prices are more expensive in the new location, and employees would only be able to afford smaller houses, or perhaps not be able to buy at all. For these reasons, and many more, there can be many workers who will not want to make the move.

Can the Move be Forced?

But do employees have to move to where ever the company asks them to? The answer is that it depends on their Employment Contract, with many employees in the UK being subject to 'mobility clauses' in their contracts. These allow the employer to move employees not exactly on a whim, but with reasonable notice and optionally helping with the expense of the move.

If there is no 'mobility clause' in employees' contracts, then relocation will constitute a change of contract and the company will have to negotiate with employees to allow the change. This might end up with some form of package to aid with the cost of the move, but it depends on the job market, the level at which each person is employed, and the culture of the organisation. Union Members will be better protected in this situation as they can rely on the union for advice and support.

Do Redundancy Rules Apply?

If employees have no mobility clause and do not want to move, they can, in certain circumstances, be made redundant, if their job in the old region ceases to exist and the alternatives in the new region are not suitable. Deciding whether or not redundancy rules apply is a complex area, and people considering refusing to move should take independent legal advice before making their decision. People for whom redundancy does apply will be able to take the new job in the new location on a four-week trial before refusing it completely.

Special protection applies when the relocation comes about as a result of a takeover and the new proprietors want to move everybody. In this case, a set of regulations known as Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment), more usually known as 'TUPE', come into play. These regulations protect employees' terms of employment and ensure that the new owners honour the terms and conditions of the previous employer, so it should make no difference that the relocation is driven by new owners.

Final Thoughts

There are two points worth finishing on. The first is that even if you have a mobility clause, an employer still cannot make unreasonable demands on you in terms of relocation. If you were asked, for example, to move to another country tomorrow, it's unlikely that an Employment Tribunal, if the dispute got that far, would consider that reasonable. The second is that as long as you are confident of getting another job and there is work available in your area, no one can make you move as you can simply resign. However, many people are not fortunate enough to be in that position.

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[Add a Comment]
james - Your Question:
Hi,I've been informed that my office is moving to another location that I deem to be unreasonable, my contract states my place of work can partially or wholly move to another reasonable location.I have no intention of moving to the new office which will be in the center of a city with no parking and public transport would take a long time and be very expensive but the main drawback is it will add a large amount of travel time to my day everyday.I put in a flexi working request to allow me to work from home but this was denies.The last day at my current office is the 17th November what do I need to do to get redundancy? If I hand in my notice am I then not entitled to redundancy?I do have the chance of another job lined up so have no intention of moving to the new site but don't want to delay things either.What should my next step be? Do I inform them I'm not moving and thus feel I'm entitled to redundancy or do I resign?

Our Response:
Much depends upon the individual employer, you can see more via the gov.uk link here which should explain further.
WorkingRights - 13-Oct-17 @ 12:10 PM
Hi, I've been informed that my office is moving to another location that i deem to be unreasonable, my contract states my place of work can partially or wholly move to another reasonable location. I have no intention of moving to the new office which will be in the center of a city with no parking and public transport would take a long time and be very expensive but the main drawback is it will add a large amount of travel time to my day everyday. I put in a flexi working request to allow me to work from home but this was denies. The last day at my current office is the 17th November what do i need to do to get redundancy? If i hand in my notice am i then not entitled to redundancy? I do have the chance of another job lined up so have no intention of moving to the new site but don't want to delay things either. What should my next step be? Do i inform them i'm not moving and thus feel i'm entitled to redundancy or do i resign?
james - 12-Oct-17 @ 12:21 PM
Hi, My office is moving from a building with their own free parking, to another building with paid parking. Parking costs will be £2000 per year. So this is essentially a paycut because of an office move. Public transport would cost me £1900 per year also. I believe I have a mobility clause in my contract, but I was wondering if I had any say in this move, or whether I could ask for redundancy?
comicbookguy75 - 8-Aug-17 @ 8:50 AM
Unknown - Your Question:
My office is closing I can either work at home or travel an extra 50 miles a day to another office. Can I be made to make this choice?

Our Response:
Employees without a mobility clause in their contract can choose whether or not to move. You can see more via the gov.uk link here.
WorkingRights - 30-Jun-17 @ 3:16 PM
My office is closing I can either work at home or travel an extra 50 miles a day to another office. Can i be made to make this choice?
Unknown - 27-Jun-17 @ 8:47 PM
Joby1 - Your Question:
Hi.i have been employed for 32 yrs at my job 10 miles easy roads.they are moveing so my journey will be 22 miles.through very difficult areas more than doubling my travel time.there is no mobility clause in my contract.and I could not manage this change.i am 59 yrs old will I be elligable for redundance.thank you

Our Response:
As specified in the article, deciding whether or not redundancy rules apply is a complex area, and people considering refusing to move should take independent legal advice before making their decision. If there is no mobility clause in your contract and the change in location involves a difficult journey or affects personal issues, it will be ‘reasonable’ for you the employee to refuse. However, you would still have to negotiate the terms with your employer. Some employers will offer compensation, others redundancy. You might wish to speak with ACAS before you approach this in order to be aware of your full rights.
WorkingRights - 11-May-17 @ 1:51 PM
Hi.i have been employed for 32 yrs at my job 10 miles easy roads...they are moveingso my journey will be 22 miles ..through very difficult areas more than doubling my travel time ...there is no mobility clause in my contract .and i could not manage this change ..i am 59 yrs old will i be elligable for redundance...thank you
Joby1 - 10-May-17 @ 8:16 PM
I have been temporally transferred to another site to help out. was meant to be for a short time it's turned out to be much longer. They was paying for my travel there and back as my previous site was within walking distance. They have now stopped paying for my travel. Which was £90 a week They haven't changed my pay and they said there is other means of travel. But the times I finish there is no public transport in my area .when even cutting down my travel expencies is still about £60 a week.. What can I do?......
Stephens - 11-Apr-17 @ 11:10 AM
Hi, my office is closing in September this year. I could have taken a redundancy package but instead chose to go to another office within reasonable daily travel. There was a job there for me but now I'm told that there isn't.The redundancy package has since been reduced so I have missed out on the more favourable package. Could I please have some advice about my rights.Many thanks
Dan - 1-Apr-17 @ 9:22 PM
A mum - Your Question:
Hi there, my employer is moving premises and I've been asked to way up my options. I took the job as p/t so I could drop/collect my children from sch as only 5 mins away. There now moving further away. meaning I will know have to do less hrs to communicate as there would be no point in sch cost i.e. breakfast/after sch club - wouldn't be cost effective. Are they allowed to reduce my wage due to less hours?

Our Response:
A mobility clause says employees have to move within certain limits. It means that employers can normally force their employees to move to places allowed by the clause, unless this is completely unreasonable, please see link here. Likewise, if you are on a permanent contract and there are terms in your contract that says your employer can reduce your contracted hours, then your employer can, please see link here. I hope this helps answer your question.
WorkingRights - 23-Mar-17 @ 2:14 PM
Hi there, my employer is moving premises and I've been asked to way up my options. I took the job as p/t so I could drop/collect my children from sch as only 5 mins away. There now moving further away.. meaning I will know have to do less hrs to communicate as there would be no point in sch cost i.e. breakfast/after sch club - wouldn't be cost effective. Are they allowed to reduce my wage due to less hours?
A mum - 22-Mar-17 @ 11:16 PM
At present I have a 7/10 minute commute to and from work, with free onsite parking - 2 reason I took my job in the first place , however we are relocating to far side of the city centre and I will have at least a half hour commute each way and either have to pay for onsite parking or purchase a monthly bus pass neither of which I have budgeted for. Can I ask they afford me either one or the other. Thank you.
Carol - 8-Mar-17 @ 9:56 PM
i was facing redundancy but was interviewed and offered a new role within the company. In my old role i had completed my probation and had a full time position. however with the new role i had to complete a new probation period. for 6 months. it looks like i'm not going to pass the probation period. and be dismissed from the company . would this be classed as unfair?
david - 14-Feb-17 @ 6:45 PM
I have been told my department are being made redundant, as they want to centralise to Sheffield difference of 120 daily commute.We have been advised of similar post at head office, but there has been no offer of relocation.Would this something that wouldcbe deemed unreasonable?
Reet - 4-Jan-17 @ 8:37 PM
Hi there, My company is moving location and after checking my contract, I note that there is no mobility clause, only "you may be required to work at a different location from time to time." I will be 4 months pregnant when the move takes place and my commute will increase from 1 hour each way to over 1.5 hours, each way. I anticipate that this will be incredibly difficult to manage, especially as I get farther into my pregnancy. I have a 14 month old as well so will need to prevent wasting valuable energy on commuting! What are my rights? I think it is illegal to be made redundant while pregnant, even if voluntary?
Cece - 18-Nov-16 @ 10:15 PM
Hi there, My company is moving location and after checking my contract, I note that there is no mobility clause, only "you may be required to work at a different location from time to time." I will be 4 months pregnant when the move takes place and my commute will increase from 1 hour each way to over 1.5 hours, each way. I anticipate that this will be incredibly difficult to manage, especially as I get farther into my pregnancy. I have a 14 month old as well so will need to prevent wasting valuable energy on commuting! What are my rights?
Cece - 18-Nov-16 @ 9:43 PM
Movehelp - Your Question:
Hi the company I work for is about to announce a move, do they legally have to give a notice period before moving.

Our Response:
When an employer moves, employees with a mobility clause in their contract have to move unless they can prove the request is unreasonable. You can see further information regarding your rights regarding time limits via the gov.uk site here. I hope this helps.
WorkingRights - 8-Nov-16 @ 10:36 AM
Hi the company I work for is about to announce a move, do they legally have to give a notice period before moving.
Movehelp - 7-Nov-16 @ 10:16 AM
2Tech - Your Question:
My employer wants me to work at one of their other sites 30 mins away, for an unknown length of time, because "they need another person" there. I have a mobility clause saying "as per needs of the business" I cant afford to travel but they said an hours overtime will be given to cover this. I am not being made redundant, but I really don't want to go. can they force me? Ive been told i'll be given a disciplinary for not reporting to the new site

Our Response:
If there is a mobility clause in your contract and you have agreed to it by signing the contract, then there is unfortunately little you can do.
WorkingRights - 20-Oct-16 @ 2:13 PM
My employer wants me to work at one of their other sites 30 mins away, for an unknown length of time, because "they need another person" there. I have a mobility clause saying "as per needs of the business" I cant afford to travel but they said an hours overtime will be given to cover this. I am not being made redundant, but I really don't want to go. can they force me? Ive been told i'll be given a disciplinary for not reporting to the new site
2Tech - 19-Oct-16 @ 7:56 PM
Hi recently asked to move to another branch&it will be 30 mins each way driving so more petrol costs and parking costs as well as worried to be late to pick my child up from school and school holidays as not much explained i.e what hrs&dates new place requires. They wont cover the fuel cost. Before accepting the new position to start within 2 weeks what options do I have? Need bit advise to see what I can/cant ask&expected. Thanks in advance
Sunny - 15-Oct-16 @ 10:20 AM
Hi, Our company has completely changed, it's name, from retail to wholesale. In the last year they have created & moved our head office 74 miles away (totally different part of country). Since the new style company we haven't had new contracts or terms & our contracts are with the old company. What would be the position if we initially asked to work/relocate there & not offer is redundancy straight away. Just trying to be prepared for all eventualities Thank you
Samuela - 5-Oct-16 @ 4:41 PM
I am employed by a UK company but posted to developing Asia on an accepted expat package, which is now up for renewal. Employer wants me to remain in Asia but on a new local contract, i.e. 40? pay cut and 0 expat allowance. What options do I have legally? My original position in UK no longer exists.
John Smith - 24-Sep-16 @ 5:14 PM
sugar - Your Question:
My employer is moving location approximately 40 minutes commute away from my office location now. I currently live near my current office and have no commute or travel expenses.Can my employer expect me to move and for me to pick up the travel costs and lifestyle change.

Our Response:
If an employer moves the location of their business, employees should check their employment contract for a ‘mobility clause’. A mobility clause says employees have to move within certain limits. It means that employers can normally force their employees to move to places allowed by the clause, unless this is completely unreasonable, please see gov.uk link here.
WorkingRights - 22-Sep-16 @ 12:12 PM
My employer is moving location approximately 40 minutes commute away from my office location now.I currently live near my current office and have no commute or travel expenses. Can my employer expect me to move and for me to pick up the travel costs and lifestyle change.
sugar - 20-Sep-16 @ 8:30 PM
Hi, I have been advised that my office is relocating 60 miles away.I currently work part time for the company and have done for the past 4 and a half years.I don't want to leave the company because I love my job, I am willing to travel and have put a proposal forward asking that I go to the office one or two days a week and working the remaining hours at home (I have everything I need so there will be no "setup" costs involved for them.They have formally put me at risk of redundancy.My question is, can they make me leave?
chez - 20-Aug-16 @ 6:13 PM
My SE firm was taken over in May 2013 by an international company. Later that year I agreed to move North with the proposition. My job is now being relocated to the SE. Verbally told a month ago and nothing in writing re relocation package or redundancy. My understanding it is a like-for-like role. No idea if there are any subtle tweaks in the role though. New life carved out having moved with husband who is doing really well. Thoughts?
Loulougib - 10-Aug-16 @ 11:05 PM
My Back office work outsourced abroad, my job will no longer exist shortly, I have worked in company for thirty years and our T/C'are covered under TUPE. My employer, states that as my job is now redundant he wants to relocate me to a call centre which involves shifts my presentjob has flexible working hours. Please advise what rights I have if any.
Ally g - 9-Jun-16 @ 6:52 PM
My company relocated ten years ago,I do not drive but went with them as two people offered me a lift and I could not afford to give up my job. Now these two people have been made redundant and I am expected to use public transport at an extra cost of £100-200 per month which I cannot afford. All my money is accounted for and I cannot afford this new expense. I have worked for the company for 18 years. Can you advise please.
Cazza - 19-Mar-16 @ 3:59 PM
the company i work for has been taken over but will still be trading under their current name.they also are relocating 15 miles away. i have not been offered a position at the new premises will i be entitled to redundancy pay
steve - 26-Feb-16 @ 8:27 PM
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