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Unfair dismissal and international employees

12 September 2014: Can international employees claim unfair dismissal in the UK?

 

Employees in the UK and Europe generally enjoy stronger employment rights than workers in the USA. This might make it attractive for employees of multinationals to claim unfair dismissal in the UK if they can.

 

The question asked in Fuller Appellant v United Healthcare Services EAT 2014 was whether a US citizen, employed by a US company, paid in dollars but working in the UK for much of his time, could claim unfair dismissal in the UK Employment Tribunal.

 

The answer in Mr Fuller’s case was ‘No’. He was an American citizen, his employer was incorporated in the US and he was paid in US dollars. Whilst half of Mr Fuller’s many assignments involved working in London, when he did so he lived in in rental accommodation provided by the company. He had not given up his home in the US and moved to the UK.

 

Ordinarily working in the UK at the time of dismissal is very strong indication that the UK Tribunal has jurisdiction. However in this case the strongest connection was to the United States.

 

It seems odd that a person working in the UK does not have protection against unfair dismissal applicable to someone working at the next desk.  However had Mr Fuller been seconded to the UK, and found himself an apartment here and been more established, the Tribunal’s decision may well have been different.

We are employment solicitors advising on unfair dismissal and other employment issued based in Holborn, London WC1V 7QT (just by Chancery Lane tube). Call today on 0207 118 0950 or visit our website www.reculversolicitors.co.uk.

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