The Supreme Court has held in Ravat v Halliburton Manufacturing and Services Limited [2012] UKSC 1 that an employee who worked in Libya at the time of his dismissal, but whose employment contract had strong connections with Great Britain, was protected by UK unfair dismissal legislation.

Mr Ravat was a British citizen who worked for Halliburton on a rotational basis, spending 28 days in Libya followed by 28 days' leave at his home in England.  Case law has established three categories of overseas employee who may have unfair dismissal protection (Lawson v Serco [2006] UKHL 3) but Mr Ravat did not fit into those categories. Rather than find that the Tribunal did not have jurisdiction on that basis, the Supreme Court held that the question to be asked was whether Mr Ravat's employment had a sufficiently substantial connection with Great Britain.  In this case, he did: his home was in Great Britain, his contract was stated to be governed by UK law and HR issues were handled from Aberdeen.

This is an important reminder to UK employers with overseas workers that they may be protected by UK employment legislation.  Whilst it will always be a matter of fact and degree, examples of factors that will be taken into account include the employee's place of work, their home address, where the employment relationship is managed and the stated law of the employment contract.