UK: Employees overseas – need for caution in using standard employment contracts

The fact that an employee working overseas is on an employment contract governed by English law is a relevant factor in determining whether he can bring an unfair dismissal claim in England, even if it was simply a standard contract drafted for employees working in England and was used for the claimant simply for convenience. The tribunal’s failure to take this into account in relation to an employee working in Saudi Arabia in Green v Sig Trading Limited led to the EAT remitting the case for reconsideration.

However, it ruled that the tribunal had been entitled to ignore the fact that the claimant’s redundancy had been handled from the UK, given that this was simply a pragmatic arrangement in view of the lack of HR support overseas, and therefore said little about the connection between the claimant’s employment and Great Britain. The case highlights the risks for UK businesses using standard contracts for overseas employees.

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Filed under International mobility (including secondments, migrant workers, territorial jurisdiction), Jurisdiction: UK, Redundancy

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