News and Events

Working Time Regs and Territorial Jurisdiction

  • Posted

[Thanks to Miranda de Savorgnani of Outer Temple Chambers for preparing this case summary]

Does an employment tribunal have territorial jurisdiction over an unfair dismissal claim of an employee who lives and works outside Great Britain?

Only where it establishes the employment relationship has much stronger connections with Great Britain and British employment law than with the country where the employee works, and those links are sufficiently strong to presume that Parliament would have intended the employee to be able to bring an unfair dismissal claim in the circumstances, says the EAT in Dhunna v Creditsights

An institutional research salesman employed by the British subsidiary of a US firm in London was dismissed by his employer after he had permanently moved from London to Dubai to open a new office focussed on the Asian market.

Relying on accepted authority (Lawson v Serco) on exceptions to the general rule, the tribunal found it lacked jurisdiction.

The EAT relied on recent CJEU caselaw, Duncombe and Ravat and a CA authority, Bates Van Winkelhof in setting out the importance of the relative strength of ties, and added the requirement for a sufficiently strong connection.