Marks and Spencer is relocating 100 of its HR shared service staff positions from London to Manchester as part of a major overhaul of its administration.
The HR staff will be merged with finance administrators to create a new business dealing with all shared services.
M&S HR director, Helena Feltham told Personnel Today the move is part of a wider review of the HR function.
"When I looked at the total HR structure I decided we needed to deliver our services in a faster, more innovative and effective way," she said.
Feltham hopes to retain the majority of staff and said the firm is offering a 'substantial' financial package to those who decide to move. Those deciding against going will be offered jobs in other departments or failing that, will be made redundant.
Feltham admitted there would be a difficult transition period for staff affected by the move who deal with the administration of payroll, pensions and recruitment.
"It's always challenging when you are restructuring your own team instead of advising other departments on such a move. It's never easy, especially when these employees normally help other people during things like this," she said.
The phased move is due to begin next March and will conclude in October 2003.