05 September 2016
With thanks to Daniel Barnett’s employment law bulletin which provided the details of this case.
Was an employee who worked abroad for a British company, under a contract of employment governed by English law, which required a notional deduction for UK tax and eligible to a Civil Service Pension able to show an overwhelmingly strong connection with Great Britain and thus entitled to bring claims under the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Equality Act 2010?
Yes, held the EAT in Jeffery v The British Council. The Claimant was an employee of the British Council managing a teaching centre in Bangladesh. He resigned and sought to bring claims against his employer which were rejected by the Employment Tribunal as being outside of its jurisdiction. The Claimant appealed.
At the EAT, HHJ Richardson allowed the appeal. The following factors were all relevant to finding "an exceptional degree of connection with Great Britain and British employment law":
- He was a UK citizen, recruited in the UK to work for a UK organisation
- The employment contract was subject to English law
- Entitlement to a Civil Service Pension - which creates a strong link to UK employment law
- Salary subject to notional deduction for UK income tax
- The employer was a public body playing an important role for the UK.
A series of cases well known to employment lawyers (including Lawson v Serco Ltd, Bates van Winkelhof v Clyde & Co LLP and Dhunna v CreditSights Ltd) were applied.