Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

The facts in Ravat v Halliburton

Mr Ravat (“the Claimant”) was employed by Halliburton Manufacturing and Services Ltd (“the Respondent”) from April 1990 to May 2006 as an accounts manager. He lives in England and is a British citizen. He was dismissed in 2006 for the reason of redundancy.

Mr Ravat’s contract of employment described him as a “UK commuter”. This was the case in practice – he worked 28 days “on” in Libya and 28 days “off” back in Preston. He was not an expatriate. His salary was paid into a UK bank account and he paid income tax and national insurance on a PAYE basis. He was assured that his contract of employment would be covered by UK employment law.

Mr Ravat sought to bring a claim for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal. An Employment Tribunal sitting in Aberdeen found that the Employment Tribunal did have jurisdiction. The Employment Appeal Tribunal found that the claim was not within the relevant employment law jurisdiction.

The law relating to jurisdiction for employment law claims

The jurisdiction of Employment Tribunals to hear case of unfair dismissal was originally contained in s.196 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 but the section was repealed in 1999, thus leaving it for the courts to determine the territorial jurisdiction of unfair dismissal claims.

In the leading case on this issue, Lawson v Serco Ltd, the House of Lords (as the Supreme Court was then known) held that the Claimants could be divided into 3 categories:

  1. Standard cases – was the Claimant working in Great Britain? Attention must be paid to both the contract of employment and what happens in practice
  2. Peripatetic employees ­– if the Claimant is more of a “nomad” the facts of the case must be looked at to determine whether the Employment Tribunal has jurisdiction
  3. 3.       Expatriate employees – where the employee is an expat the employee must generally rely on the law where they’re working, unless they’re posted abroad for the purpose of a business carried on in Great Britain or where the expat is working in an extra-territorial enclave in a foreign country

The relevant questions that must be asked are there:

  1. Does the Claimant work wholly in Great Britain?
  2. If the Claimant only works and lives part of the part of the time in Great Britain, do the facts of the case suggest that the Claimant was working in Great Britain or otherwise? (look at where the employee lives, what the situation is relating to tax etc.)
  3. If the employee works and lives wholly abroad then does either of the above exceptions apply?

The Supreme Court’s judgment in Ravat v Halliburton

The Supreme Court rejected the Respondent’s argument that the courts of England and Wales did not have jurisdiction for the Claimant’s claim and remitted the case to the Employment Tribunal to deal with the merits of the claim for unfair dismissal by reason of redundancy.

The Supreme Court determined that the employment relationship had a stronger connection with Great Britain than the country where the Claimant was based as the Claimant had his home in Great Britain, the Respondent’s business was based in Great Britain, and the Claimant was described as a commuter. Further, the Claimant had been assured by the Respondent that UK employment law would apply to his contract of employment (although the Court recognised that it was not open to parties to contract into a particular jurisdiction).

Our thoughts on Ravat v Halliburton

This is an interesting claim relating to the jurisdiction of the Employment Tribunal. The decisive fact in this case (as well as the issues relating to residence, payment of tax etc.) appears to have been the Respondent’s assurance to the Claimant that his employment would be covered by UK employment law rather than Libyan law.

About Chris Hadrill

Chris is a specialist employment lawyer at Redmans. He specialises in contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including breach of contract claims, compromise agreements and Employment Tribunal cases. He writes on employment law matters on a variety of websites, including Direct 2 Lawyers, Lawontheweb.co.uk, LegalVoice, the Justice Gap and his own blog. Contact Chris by emailing him at chadrill@redmans.co.uk

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Our awards

Request a callback

Your name

Your email

Your telephone number

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk

Testimonials

4.68 Average

69 Reviews

Anonymous

The guidance and assistance I recently received when using Redman's was fantastic. Caroline & Chris were both very informative and understanding walking me through each step. Thank you.

Posted 2 days ago

Nicola W

Fantastic service, very quick and efficient. Thank you

Posted 2 days ago

Anonymous

Excellent professional service.

Posted 2 days ago

Anonymous

As with All solicitors advice without consequence but understood and communicated my legal position

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Prompt, professional and excellent service.

Posted 1 week ago

Dominic C

Excellent service, prompt and helpful

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

I found Redman’s to be very efficient and got me the best deal available in the short time scale that was available.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Victor L

Very professional. Provided excellent advice on my Settlement agreement.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Professional from start to finish.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Oliver W

Excellent service provided by Redmans, will certainly consider using again.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Melanie H

Very professional and extremely personable service. Thank you very much.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

I found Chris to be very approachable and easy to speak with about complex matters. He took action quickly and his updates to me, as his client, were prompt. I would recommend Chris and the team at Redmans without hesitation.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Good advice

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Overall happy with the service provided by Chris and Rana.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Chris and Rana provide a great service, very informed, diligent and care about your result, would recommend Redmans

Posted 1 month ago

David W

A speedy efficient friendly service, I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors for processing Settlement Agreements.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Both Rana and Chris were fantastic. From the first phone call I was confident my matter was in good hands. I was not disappointed. I would highly recommend Redmans. Thank you again for all of your support and advice.

Posted 1 month ago

Federico S

Great advices and communication. Through Redmana I obtained match more than what I thought. Highly recommended

Posted 1 month ago

Tom G

A good and efficient service with the required legal advice provided for a settlement agreement.

Posted 1 month ago

Francis T

The solicitor I used was Chris Hadrill, who I found extremely professional and I felt that he made me feel at ease, considering the subject matter he was assisting me with.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Chris provided excellent assistance with the negotiation of my settlement agreement. From start to finish, I was consitently updated and advised on the best course of action to take. I would highly recommend Chris and Redmans Solicitors.

Posted 1 month ago