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Where Do Globe-Trotting Employees Hang Their Hats?

In an age of easy travel and global companies, it can be hard to say where some employees ‘hang their hats’. In one case, a globe-trotting worker – who confined his time in the UK to less than 90 days each year in order to maintain his non-domiciled status for tax purposes – paid the price for his peripatetic lifestyle when an Employment Tribunal (ET) refused to hear his unfair dismissal claim.

The Danish national lived in Switzerland and was employed by a worldwide shipping company based in Bermuda. His employment contract was governed by the laws of Bermuda and, although he worked in Britain for more time than anywhere else, he was never in the country long enough to be subject to UK taxation.

He claimed that he had been unfairly dismissed for whistleblowing. However, the ET ruled that it had no power to consider his complaint because his employment was not sufficiently closely connected to the UK.

In rejecting his appeal against that decision, the Employment Appeal Tribunal found that the ET was plainly and obviously right to decline jurisdiction to hear the case.