Wittenberg v Sunset Personnel Services Ltd & Ors UKEATS/0019/13/JW

Appeal against a decision that there was no territorial reach in respect of the Claimant's claims. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant was a German national, who lived in Germany and who worked as a chief engineer aboard a ship. His employer was registered in Scotland and had a place of business in Aberdeen. The work which the claimant carried out was mostly offshore Nigeria, with a small part of his work being offshore elsewhere, though never in UK waters. The dispute between the parties at the ET concerned claims under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA), the Equality Act 2010, the Working Time Regulations 1998, and a claim for breach of contract at common law. The ET decided that there was no territorial reach in respect of the statutory claims, and that there was jurisdiction in respect of the common law claim. He relied on [Ravat]() for the proposition that a person neither living nor working in Britain would require to show an especially strong connection to found jurisdiction. He found that the claimant did not do so, because his home address, from where he commuted to work, was not in Great Britain. He acknowledged that nationality of the claimant was not directly relevant, while it might have an indirect effect. The EJ also considered the nationality of the employer. Having found that the employer was a company registered in the UK and conducting its business in Aberdeen, he went on to find that the employer merely engaged the crew for a vessel and thereafter did not supervise or direct the day to day work. He found that there was little connection to Great Britain or to UK law. The Claimant appealed.

The EAT dismissed the appeal. Even though he lived in Germany and his employer was based in Aberdeen his connection with the EU was insufficient.

Read the full text of the judgment here

Published: 03/02/2017 12:32

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