Mobility clauses

January 16th, 2017 by James Goudie KC

In Kellogg Brown & Root (UK) Ltd v Fitton, 0206/16, the EAT revisits the interface between redundancy situations and mobility clauses.  Two principles are reaffirmed and applied.  The first, confirmed by the Court of Appeal in Home Office v Evans   ICR 302, is that an employer is lawfully entitled to invoke an express contractual mobility clause; and avoid liability for a statutory redundancy payment, notwithstanding that a redundancy situation has arisen or might arise on the closure of part of a business.  The second is that if an employee refuses to relocate and the employer dismisses the employee the employer can rely on that refusal to obey a lawful instruction as misconduct, but the ET must then go on to consider the question of fairness, ie whether the employer has acted reasonably in giving the instruction and whether the employee had acted reasonably in refusing to comply with that instruction.

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