Have you been dismissed while working abroad?

If you work abroad you may now be able to claim unfair dismissal in the UK if you are dismissed.

Existing UK legislation is silent as to exactly which employees are protected against unfair dismissal if they work abroad, so this has led to confusion which previous UK employment law cases (at an Employment Tribunal) have tried to clarify. Until Feburary 2012 Tribunal cases had clarified that only some employees would qualify for protection against unfair dismissal. However, a case in February 2012  (Ravat v Halliburton) has led to the Supreme Court  giving helpful insights into how employment tribunals should approach the question of the territorial extent of UK unfair dismissal protection – and we look at the details here.

The quick facts of the case:
Mr Ravat was a British citizen originally employed by a subsidiary of a multinational company in London, he was later posted to Algeria and then to Libya. From 2003 until 2006, when he was made redundant, he job-shared working on a “rotational” or “commuter” basis which involved 28 days in Libya followed by 28 days on leave in Great Britain, where he lived. Unlike other employees in the business he was not accorded expatriate status as he worked on a rotational basis and received expenses to cover his commute. The duties he carried out in Libya were for the benefit of a German subsidiary.

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