The recent case of Kellogg Brown & Root v Fitton and Ewer serves as a reminder to employers relocating jobs on a redundancy: if they choose to operate a mobility clause (rather than make redundancies with the offer of alternative work), they must ensure that the mobility clause is narrowly drafted and covers the proposed move, and that they operate it reasonably taking into account the employees' individual circumstances. It is important to choose early on whether to adopt the mobility clause option or go down the redundancy route.
In Kellogg, on closure of an office the employer purported to relocate employees by exercising a mobility clause permitting relocation anywhere in the UK or overseas. Two long-serving employees who refused to move due to the substantial increase in their daily travel (by 3 hours and 60 miles respectively) were dismissed. The EAT ruled that the dismissal was for misconduct rather than redundancy, and was unfair – the employer had not been entitled to rely on the over-wide mobility clause, its instruction to move had not been reasonable and the employees had reasonable grounds to refuse.