Sometimes companies move location, perhaps because of the need to reduce costs, find bigger premises, for restructuring or to merge with another business - if your employer moves, you have certain rights and obligations.
If your employer moves the location of their business, your situation depends firstly on the terms of your contract of employment. Some contracts include a 'mobility clause' which says you have to move within certain limits. If you have a mobility clause in your contract your employer can normally force you to move to places allowed by the clause unless this is completely unreasonable (such as asking you to move to another country with only one day's notice).
Reasons you might not want to go to the new location could include:
If you don't have a mobility clause in your contract, and the relocation is more than a short distance, you can decide not to move. In this case, your employer may make you redundant.
If you don't want to move with your employer, you may become redundant because:
There is no fixed distance which is 'reasonable'- it depends on your particular circumstances. If the new location is just a few miles away and you can drive or easily take public transport, it will probably be unreasonable to turn down the offer. If, however, it involves a difficult journey, even if it's only a few miles away, or affects personal matters like your family situation or children's education, it may be reasonable to say no.
When you are facing redundancy there is a right to a trial period in any alternative job you are offered.
Redundancy is a dismissal so you can always consider an unfair dismissal claim if you feel badly treated.
Your employer doesn't have to offer you any compensation for relocating, unless it's included in your contract of employment. They may offer you financial help, including help with legal fees, excess fares, moving expenses and temporary accommodation. If you turn down the offer of relocation and you've been offered compensation, you may not get a redundancy payment.
Your new job may be different from your old job, but better paid and with the chance for personal development. It may be worthwhile agreeing a trial period, perhaps while you commute or move to temporary accommodation in the new area, to see if you like the new job. If you agree a trial period, it's a good idea to do so in advance, and in writing.
If you're in a redundancy situation, you have a statutory right to a four week trial period. If you do decide to move, even to a new position, your employment is continuous, and your statutory rights are unchanged.
Your rights are protected under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (known as TUPE), under which all of your existing rights, including contractual rights and redundancy protection, are unchanged. It makes no difference that it's a new owner that introduces the relocation.
If your employer decides to relocate: