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Court of Appeal ruling concerning the jurisdiction of the employment tribunal to entertain claims by employees working outside Great Britain

The British Council v Jeffery [2018] EWCA Civ 2253

Related Member(s):
James Laddie QC
Related Practice Area(s):
Employment Law, Public and Private International Law

The appeal relates to the jurisdiction of the Employment Tribunal to entertain claims by employees working outside Great Britain.  In Jeffery the claimant lived in Bangladesh, where he worked for the British Council.  The ET held that it had no jurisdiction to entertain his claims of unfair dismissal, whistleblower detriment and discrimination, but the Employment Appeal Tribunal reversed that decision.

The Court dismissed the appeal by the British Council on the “very particular circumstances of the present case the EAT was right to hold that the only correct conclusion was that the factors connecting Mr Jeffery’s employment with Great Britain outweighed the strong territorial pull of the place of work” [80]. The Court was divided as to whether the sufficient connection test was a question of fact (Underhill LJ) or law (Longmore and Peter Jackson LJ).  The Court held that an employment tribunal is entitled to take account of a choice of law clause in a contract when deciding whether the sufficient connection test is satisfied.

James Laddie QC was involved in this case.