Employers should bear in mind the scope for employees working abroad to bring claims here, even where it has been the employee’s choice to relocate. There may be sufficient connection with Great Britain, particularly if the work is performed remotely for a purely British-based business.
The EAT has allowed an unfair dismissal claim from an employee who chose to relocate to Australia and telework remotely for a business operating only in London. She came to London to work for just over two weeks a year and her grievance and appeal were heard here. The EAT ruled that there was a sufficiently strong connection with Great Britain and British employment law to allow an unfair dismissal claim (notwithstanding that the employee only paid tax in Australia). All of the employee’s work in Australia was done remotely by logging onto the London network and was for the London business; the employer did not conduct any business in Australia. The fact that it was the employee’s choice to relocate (for family reasons) made no difference. (Lodge v Dignity & Choice in Dying)