On appeal from: [2010] CSIH 52

In the light of Lawson v Serco [2006] UKHL 3, the Court considered whether an employment tribunal had jurisdiction in relation to individuals resident in Great Britain and employed by a British company, but who travelled to and from home to work overseas.

Held, dismissing the employer’s appeal against the decision that an employment tribunal had jurisdiction to hear an unfair dismissal complaint. The Employment Rights Act 1996, ss 94(1) (right not to be unfairly dismissed), 230(1) (definition of “employee”) did not contain any geographical limitation, although some limitation must be implied. Distinguishing Lawson, the question of law was whether s 94(1) applied to this particular employment. It was not for the courts to lay down a series of fixed rules where Parliament had decided not to do so. Their role was to give effect to what Parliament may reasonably be taken to have intended by identifying and applying the relevant principles. The question of fact was whether the connection between the circumstances of the employment and Great Britain and with British employment law was sufficiently strong to enable it to be said that it was be appropriate for the employee to have a claim for unfair dismissal in Great Britain.

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