Unfair Dismissal - Virtual employees abroad protected by UK legislation

In Lodge v Dignity & Choice In Dying and another UKEAT/0252/14, the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) considered whether an Australian employee of a British company, who worked remotely in Australia, was protected against unfair dismissal and whistleblowing detriment by the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) in the UK.

The EAT has held that an Australian citizen was entitled to bring claims in an English employment tribunal on the basis that the work she performed in Australia was for the benefit of the employer's London operation.  It was held that she was a "virtual employee" in Australia rather than a "physical employee" in London but this did not mean she fell outside of UK legal protection.

Given today’s IT capabilities, it is fairly common for employees working for British operations to work remotely from other countries and this case acts as a reminder that such employees will not lose their right to bring claims in the English Courts simply due to their physical location.

Posted on 02/03/2015 by Ortolan

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