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hear case of unfair dismissal was originally contained in s.196 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 but the section was repealed in 1999, thus leaving it for the courts to determine the territorial jurisdiction of unfair dismissal claims.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

4.63 Average

30 Reviews

Anonymous

Immediate response to my initial enquiry. Very clear throughout the whole process and thorough and great communication which worked really well during quite a stressful time. Chris Hadrill was extremely helpful and made me feel at ease.

Posted 2 months ago

Nick D

I received a very professional service from Chris. The advice given really helped to leave me comfortable to sign the settlement agreement following my redundancy. Would be happy to recommend your services to others.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Excellent service from initial contact to deliverables.

Posted 3 months ago

Virginia K

Yes, Chris Hadrill answered all my questions and I feel more confident with my current situation

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Chris Hadrill was referred to me my a friend of mine. I found the service to be efficient, quick and like Chris's direct approach to my work. Well done and thank you Chris!

Posted 3 months ago

Andy W

Very prompt & structured service that helped put my mind at rest at a difficult time

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

I have found Redmans to be very helpful, diligant and thoroughly professional when dealing with them, plus they gone that extra mile for me !

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Thank you to Chris Hadrill at Redmans for his assistance in settling my case. I contacted him at the very last minute and he was happy to help me and managed to get everything done on time and in a very professional manner. I will definitely be happy to work with him again .

Posted 3 months ago

Redman's provided excellent legal employment advice for me during a difficult time in my employment. Chris was my lawyer, super efficient, quick, reliable and clearly very experienced in the matter. Could not ask for a better law firm to deal with your query if you are in need of some help. Would definitely use them again in the future. Highly recommending Chris.

Posted 7 months ago

Steven

Chris Hadrill was very professional and responsive. I would highly recommend him

Posted 7 months ago

Dinah

Very Efficient, with very quick email reply’s. I had a matter that needed resolving within a very short space of time and Redmans Solicitors were great with dealing with my matter quickly.

Posted 7 months ago

Ankar

At Redmans the solicitor that was dealing with me was Chris. He dealt with my situation smoothly with clear guidance and explanation

Posted 7 months ago

Anonymous

Clear, concise advice and guidance delivered by an experienced and very capable solicitor, within the timelines required

Posted 8 months ago

Anonymous

Very efficient service. I never had to wIt for more than a day for a reply to any of my queries and the matter was dealt with swiftly.

Posted 8 months ago

Anonymous

Very timely, thorough and helpful advice. Friendly and considerate of the needs of the client

Posted 8 months ago

Anonymous

Very prompt and attention to detail. Thank you for the service

Posted 8 months ago

Chris

Couldn’t be happier with how Redmans successfully handled our seemingly tricky case. By being clear and detailed every step of the way, with the utmost professionalism and courtesy, they made it an informative and eye-opening process, taking the stress out of the situation and ultimately delivered what you would want from such a service. I fully appreciate everything they have done, and if I am ever in need of such services in the future, they will be the first number I contact. Excellent.

Posted 8 months ago

Anonymous

Excellent work delivered with great quality

Posted 8 months ago

Dominic

Chris Hadrill was a great help both in terms of his advice and his expertise. He explained my options to me clearly and concisely enabling me to quickly make the right decision for me in the circumstance. I would not hesitate to recommend Chris or Redmans to friends or colleagues, and would certainly make Redmans my first port of call should I require a similar service in the future.

Posted 8 months ago

Kurt

Redmans gave excellent advice and helped me understand everything in clear concepts. Thank you!

Posted 8 months ago

Anonymous

Resolved my issues

Posted 8 months ago