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No you cannot do this as he would likely make a claim to show that this is what you did and could be compensated for the difference. Which means that you would have to pay to defend this action. What you should do is bring him in for a consultation and explain the situation to him and see if you can come up with some kind of compensation for him to leave. You can find a lot of advice about mitigation to do this etc. on the Acas website. If you do this then he would have grounds for legal action. I would bring him in and see if you can negotiate an exit strategy and agreement with him and if you do so then get it signed in writing so that he cannot potentially take legal action against you in the future.
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