The usual territorial limits for unfair dismissal claims apply to whistleblowing claims for automatically unfair dismissal or detriment, according to a recent EAT ruling.

An Italian banker, working in Singapore under a contract governed by Singaporean law, whose only connection to Great Britain was that his employer had headquarters there, was unable to bring a whistleblowing claim here. He was unable to satisfy the test for cases where the employee’s place of work is not Great Britain, namely that the connection with Great Britain is sufficiently strong to enable it to be said that Parliament would have regarded it as appropriate for a tribunal to deal with the claim.

The EAT rejected arguments that a looser test should apply to whistleblowing claims on the basis that European rights to freedom of expression should apply, ruling that these rights do not extend outside European states except in very limited cases. It also rejected the argument that jurisdiction for the claims was necessary to enable UK citizens to exercise their right to hear an expatriate’s disclosure of financial malpractice that could affect the UK. (Smania v Standard Chartered Bank)