NEC ECC: Is the introduction of new 'target dates' outside of those in the contract a CE?

Our contract with our client stipulates a handful of Key Dates for areas and a Completion Date. As the contract has progressed the client has instructed us to revise our programme to meet numerous dates for systems before our key dates.
My understanding that as a Contractor we must obey an instruction given to us by the client (27.3) but that also as these dates are not stipulated in the contract then they are not classed as Key Dates carrying the associated risk of unlimited damages but rather ‘target dates’.

There are two parts to my question:

  1. Is this instruction a compensation event? If so, which 60.1 (?) clause does it fall under?
  2. Are we right to alter the programme to show us meeting these ‘target dates’ and submit with the associated cost? (dependent on answer to question 1)
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I would suggest this is a compensation event under clause 60.1(1) as it is a change to the Works Information i.e. a new constraint that you did not have before. Therefore yes you should show how you now plan to meet these new “target dates”.

However - and this is the important bit - the Employer will have no real contractual recourse if you fail to meet that new “target date” as there is only such remedy for missing Key Dates (clause 25.3 undefined cost) or sectional/Completion Date (Delay damages under X7). They are therefore of limited contractual benefit to the Employer.

I would suggest that it would be worthwhile discussing these new dates with the Employer to get an understanding of their importance so that you can determine how to go about achieving them (or not) and including the additional cost and risk in the CE quote.

Thank you Glenn.