Last week the Court of Appeal ruled that an employment tribunal had been right to decline jurisdiction in respect of claims by a British expatriate who had been based in the Gulf. The fact that he had been recruited in London and employed by a British company was insufficient to establish the necessary close connection with the UK.
This follows a decision from the Employment Appeal Tribunal earlier this month with the same outcome for the claimant, though the circumstances were rather different. He was a US resident, working for a US company, but had spent half his time working in the UK for almost a year prior to his dismissal.
These decisions contrast with a number of decisions from the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court over the past few years, which have adopted what at first sight appears to be a more liberal approach (see for example here and here). However these cases involved UK residents working for British employers, even if their work was wholly or mostly abroad.
It has been emphasised a number of times that it is the job of the employment tribunal to make its own assessment in these cases, after weighing up all the factors. However, it has become pretty clear that claimants working wholly or party abroad will struggle to persuade tribunals to hear their claim unless they live in the UK and work for British companies.