Unfair dismissal - jurisdiction

16 October 2014

An employee based in Dubai did not have unfair dismissal rights

In Creditsights v Dhunna, an employee of a British company, who had moved to work in Dubai, claimed that he was entitled to bring an unfair dismissal claim before an Employment Tribunal in London.

The normal rule is that an employee must work within Great Britain to be entitled to bring such a claim. The Court of Appeal held that the employee could not establish a sufficiently strong connection with Great Britain to allow an exemption from the general rule that an employee's place of employment is decisive in such cases. Accordingly, his claim failed.

Point to note –

The employee argued that recent case law suggested that the Tribunal should have compared the law in Great Britain to the law in the jurisdiction where the employee was working at the time of his dismissal, in order to determine which was the better system of law. The Court of Appeal held that this was incorrect, and that the test is simpler than that. Unless claimants working abroad can establish a sufficiently strong connection with Great Britain (for example, working abroad because the employee was required to by the Ministry of Defence), they will not have an unfair dismissal claim in Great Britain if they are dismissed.

This article is part of the UK Employment Law Update for October 2014