Employment Law – Claims – Overseas Worker

Employment Law – Claims – Overseas Worker

In the case Saggar v Ministry of Defence [2005], it was held that an abroad based employee of a British company, who was a UK local when recruited or at any time throughout the course of the worker’s employment, is entitled to bring a discrimination claim in the UK. The claim can be brought even if the employee did no more operate in Britain after the step overseas.

After 16 years at a Ministry of Defence base in Britain, Lieutenant Colonel Surinder Nath Saggar was permanently stationed in Cyprus from 1998 and was still there when he made a claim for race discrimination.

The Work Tribunal chose that Lieutenant Saggar worked completely outdoors Britain and might not file a race discrimination claim in Britain. He appealed against this decision to the Employment Appeals Tribunal (” EAT”).

The EAT dismissed the appeal and held that:-.

In order for Lieutenant Saggar’s claim to be successful, the EAT would have to look at the whole of his employment from 1982 onwards, which would be “ridiculous”;.

The EAT was bound by the choice of the Court of Appeal when it comes to Carver v Saudi Arabian Airlines [1999] where for the functions of establishing whether a tribunal has jurisdiction to hear a claim, it is essential to consider whether, at the time of the alleged discrimination, the plaintiff was wholly or generally operating in Great Britain;.
Accordingly, at the time of the alleged discrimination, Lieutenant Saggar worked wholly in Cyprus.
The case went to the Court of Appeal and it was decided that: -.

The pertinent duration for figuring out whether a claimant worked wholly or mainly outdoors Great Britain is the entire period of work;.
This technique was supported by the wording in s 8( 1) of the Race Relations Act 1976; and.
This decision applied equally to all employees despite the fact that an individual serving in the Army is not a staff member as there is no agreement of service.
The matter was remitted to a different tribunal to figure out the issue of jurisdiction in accordance with the Court of Appeal’s judgment.

Comment: This is a considerable choice in favour of staff members. This indicates that in most cases where workers are posted abroad they are entitled to bring work claims in the UK. In practice, along with adhering to the rules of the country where staff members are working, it would be practical for employers to use English employment law requirements too.

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© RT COOPERS, 2005. This Instruction Note does not offer an extensive or total declaration of the law relating to the problems discussed nor does it make up legal recommendations. It is planned only to highlight basic problems. Professional legal advice should constantly be looked for in relation to specific conditions.

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