Legal News

The Court of Appeal rejected an argument that the Equality Act had a wider territorial reach than unfair dismissal (even apart from EU law).

In Hottak v FCO locally recruited interpreters employed by the British army in Afghanistan were held not to have an EqA claim in Britain. They were claiming that their relocation terms were less generous than Iraqi interpreters.

The Court of Appeal upheld the lower court’s decision that the EqA did not apply. The connection with Great Britain and its employment law in this case was not sufficiently strong to overcome the general rule that the place of employment is decisive.

The case was held to be similar to an EAT decision previously approved by the House of Lords where it had been decided that a British national engaged to work in the British Embassy in Rome, on local terms and conditions, could not claim unfair dismissal.

More on the Hottak decision: Working abroad: unfair dismissal and the Equality Act>What if work is wholly aboard?

As described on that page, in some cases the EqA may still have a wider territorial scope than unfair dismissal, mainly where this is required to give an ‘effective remedy’ under EU law.