Long arm of UK law

Posted: 6th March 2012

When an employee lived in Great Britain (GB) but worked in Libya on a '28 days on, 28 days off’ rota, where was he employed? The man worked for a subsidiary of a US company. Following the transfer, he was working for the benefit of a German subsidiary of the same company, but his salary and expenses were paid by the UK subsidiary.
It might seem that given that the employee did no work at all in GB and his line management was abroad, the answer could be ‘anywhere but GB’.
On the other hand, the man’s contract of employment was based on British employment law, and he was paid in pounds Sterling and subject to tax in the UK.
The question arose because the man lost his job and wished to claim unfair dismissal against his ex-employer.
The employer argued Container Portthat the employee was not protected under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) because he was not employed in the UK.
The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled that, in the particular circumstances of the case, the man’s employment showed a sufficiently strong connection to GB for him to be entitled to the protection offered to employees under the ERA.
If you employ people to work abroad, where the connection between GB and the employment relationship is sufficiently strong to enable it to be said that Parliament would have regarded it as appropriate for the Tribunal to deal with the claim, then the employee will be able to make use of the protection afforded by the ERA.