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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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My Employment Contract states that the "... T's & C's of employment

Resolved Question:

My Employment Contract states that the "... T's & C's of employment are governed by the laws of England and to the jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales." I am, however, an South African citizen and was working for this (Oil and Gas) company in Ghana. Am I protected by the UK's Employment Rights Act 1996? Can I follow this law to make an Unfair Dismissal case?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.
Hello can you please let me know what happened leading to the dismissal and how long you worked there for?
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Hi Ben. I have worked for the company for 7 and a half years. I was basically called into our head office out of the blue and told that my employment with the company will end at midnight that day (the 17th of March 2016). The reason given was that they "... had to realign the role of the Maintenance Manager according to the current business needs and climate." (I was not even given the opportunity to return to my place of work or residence to collect my personal belongings - this was couriered to my home in South Africa.) I was in the role of the Maintenance Manager for more than two years on a rotational basis. This is the position that runs the entire maintenance base. My back-to-back was not released, although I am much more qualified and experienced than him. Also, no changes to the structure has been made or even discussed up till know. I am very doubtful that the base can operate without this position in any case. I have never had any disciplinary action taken against me and have always had very high appraisals and can prove that I have made huge positive contributions during me tenure in this position. They did pay me one month's salary in lieu of notice, but no other redundancy payment. Also, they claim to have sent my CV around the company, but did not have a copy of my latest CV and could not tell me what and to whom it was sent. I therefore believe that they did not put much effort into this. They did state that I would be eligible for re-hire, which also proves that this dismissal was not due to a wrong-doing on my part.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.
Was this a UK company?
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Yes, Expro Gulf Ltd.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.
This is not an easy issue to determine because it is not just the clause in the contract which will decide whether the UK courts and tribunals have jurisdiction to hear your claim. Employees who ordinarily used to work outside Great Britain were expressly excluded from bringing unfair dismissal claims under the Employment Rights Act 1996. However, those provisions were repealed by the Employment Relations Act 1999 without any replacement wording. Therefore, it is now a matter for case law to determine whether that is possible or not. The leading case on territorial scope of UK employment legislation is Lawson v Serco, which identified examples of where expatriate employees are allowed to present claims to a UK Tribunal. These can be summarised as follows:· a peripatetic employee whose base was in the UK;· employees posted abroad for the purposes of a British business, like the foreign correspondent of a newspaper;· employees working in a British social or political enclave abroad; or· any other category where the employee could demonstrate an equally strong employment connection with the UK. Another relevant case is that of Ravat v Halliburton Manufacturing and Services Ltd where the Supreme Court said that here was really one question if the employee does not work in the UK, and that is “is the employment connection with the UK ‘sufficiently strong’ to enable it to be said that Parliament would have regarded it as appropriate for a Tribunal to deal with the claim”? If you were simply employed by a British company but had no other ties to the UK, then it is unlikely that you would qualify, even if you had that clause in your contract. So unless you can show such strong ties to the UK, I am afraid it is unlikely the tribunal will have jurisdiction to hear your claim. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Hi Ben, thank you for your help. This is quite understandable, but surely Expat employees must be enjoy at least certain rights? I understand that the host country's laws might also apply. Do you know whether this is true?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.
Oh yes, a country's laws will cover you, I just cannot tell which. the likelihood is that it may be the host country where you were employed, although I cannot advise on those and how that may happen. I can only advise on UK law however, which is as explained above, to see how local laws may cover you you would need to consult a local lawyer. Hope this clarifies?
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46196
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Perfect, thanks! All the best!
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.
You are most welcome

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