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hear case of unfair dismissal was originally contained in s.196 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 but the section was repealed in 1999, thus leaving it for the courts to determine the territorial jurisdiction of unfair dismissal claims.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

    Your last name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Your telephone number (required)

    Brief details of your enquiry

    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

    4.76 Average

    235 Reviews

    Paul O

    Chris & Rana guided me through a redundancy discussion. Prompt & patient assistance with the documents & meetings. Clear advice & fast responses regarding negotiations. Would definitely recommend & would use again without hesitation.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Outstanding, efficient service. Thank you so much!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Jaswant S

    Very very happy with the good service I got Thank you so much for your help

    Posted 1 month ago

    Mel and Chris were fantastic and supportive throughout! 1000% recommend.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Emma D

    Good responsive service

    Posted 1 month ago

    Mike T

    Good efficient service.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Brenda G

    Very professional and helpful

    Posted 1 month ago

    Charles A

    Chris Hadrill was recommended to me when I found myself in need of a solicitor at very short notice. He contacted me almost immediately to arrange a call. Chris handled my case in a professional and timely manner and kept me notified throughout. Chris inspired confidence and made me feel I was being cared for. If ever I'm in need of legal representation, I would not hesitate to contact Chris. And will gladly recommend him to family and friends.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Rosalind R

    I was very happy with the service that I received from Redmans Solicitors. They were able to advise me accordingly with regards to my employment matter and stay within the agreed costing.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Karl B

    Caroline and Chris were so helpful and friendly. Couldn't of asked for a better service.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Dimitrios P

    Excellent, professional service, in time and within the expected value.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Barbara K

    Everything quickly and fairly. Very professional. Thank you.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Sabrina J

    I received a efficient professional service during the whole process of liasing between myself and my former employer to getting all forms signed and receiving my redundancy payment in full in the summer of this year.

    Posted 1 month ago

    I received legal advice on a redundancy settlement agreement from Redmans Solicitors and was very impressed by the quality of their service. Chris Hadrill is highly experienced in settlement matters and was especially understanding of the particulars of my case, going out of his way to ensure that it was resolved quickly and with the utmost professionalism. I have no hesitation in recommending Redmans to anyone in need of employment advice and settlement resolution.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Excellent service, with full explanations of everything needed. Both Chris and Mel answered all emails very promptly and were personable and efficient.

    Posted 1 month ago

    I would like to thank Chris Hadrill, in particular who handled my case, for all his hard work, expertise and dedication. He listened with empathy and offered suitable advice, which made me feel valued and confident through a difficult time. I would highly recommend Chris and the team at Redmans Solicitors. Thank you.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Yann G

    Yann Guezennec / Chris Hadrill - Thanks for the detailed, informed and professional advice for my settlement. When comprise is the rule I felt we could have been maybe a bit more aggressive from the start. However an acceptable outcome considering the situation. Thank you

    Posted 1 month ago

    Valentina D

    Great service from Mel, she was very good at explaining every part of the settlement agreement and very efficient dealing with the HR team. Very professional team, I would definitely use them again in future if the opportunity came up.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Olaf S

    I was very happy with the service that I have received. Thank You Regards

    Posted 1 month ago

    Rebecca A

    I had a wonderful solicitor called Caroline who was so helpful and gave me all the information I need and explained everything in detail so I was crystal clear. Would highly recommend if you are in need of a solicitor!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Gareth J

    Very efficient, helpful and pragmatic support from Caroline. Happy to work with my requirements / suggestions but also made some very good points which helped to achieve a higher settlement amount. Would highly recommend Caroline and Chris.

    Posted 1 month ago