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Presumably, he was offered to new contract and accepted it, to start from 1/4/20.
Has the new employer simply delayed the start or are they claiming that the contract is now void ?
The commencement date of the contract is only one term of it. The inability to start on the exact date does not automatically mean the contract is void and "they can do nothing about it" .
Suppose, for example, that your husband could start a week later , then they might be expected to wait for him.
The LA would be entitled to terminate the contract if there is an appropriate clause in the contract, if they are reasonably assuming that the performance of the contract will be substantially affected in a negative way or if the next few weeks when your husband will be definitely unable to attend is crucial to the reason for the contract.
Your husband has a choice he can appeal/ complain about the decision with the LA or accept the position as it is as it appears that substantial help is to be provided to help the self employed etc through this period.
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