Does an Employment Tribunal have jurisdiction to hear claims for whistleblowing detriment against EULEX (a Kosovo-based EU mission) brought by a British worker seconded to it from the FCO and/or claims against fellow employees of the FCO also so seconded?
No and yes, respectively, held the EAT in Bamieh v EULEX Kosovo
The Tribunal had no jurisdiction to hear the claims against EULEX, primarily because it had no domestic legal personality and in any event the tribunal had no territorial jurisdiction over acts done by EULEX or by its (non-British) chief of Mission.
However, the claims against colleagues of the Claimant, also employed by the FCO, were allowed to proceed. Although the existing authorities as to the territorial jurisdiction of the Employment Rights Act had tended to focus on the strength of a Claimant’s connection to the UK (rather than that of the Respondent), Simler P held that the question “required an assessment of the sufficiency of the connections between each individual Respondent and Great Britain… by analogy with the approach required to be adopted where the employer is the only respondent.”
The question was not conclusively determined by reference to the geographical base of the employees in question, and on the facts of the case the tribunal did have jurisdiction to consider these claims.
Thanks to Will Young of Outer Temple Chambers for preparing this case summary.