Employment Law UK vs UAE
An HR manager whose job in Dubai was ‘eliminated’ while she was on maternity leave has won the right for a British employment tribunal to hear the case for discrimination. Her employer argued she had no right to do so because she had not worked for them in Britain.
However, as a diplomatic and overseas development charity with close links to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office it was deemed the employer had attempted ‘to effectively put itself beyond the reach of law’ by resisting her bid to find justice in the UK.
The employee was ironically working as an equality team manager for the taxpayer-funded organisation in the United Arab Emirates but was told her job no longer existed less than two months before she was due to come back. She was told that due to a restructure she could apply for a role in the new structure, and several consultation meetings were held, in which it was confirmed her role was to be removed. She was not offered an alternative position and she was notified that her employment would be terminated.
Following several complaints about her dismissal the employee was told that her employment was governed by UAE law, and she should take her case to the courts there.
Her employer was entitled to claim diplomatic immunity in the United Arab Emirates from employee lawsuits, leading a UK employment judge to rule that a tribunal will now take place in the UK. The judge stated, ‘Immunity does not extinguish liability.’ ‘The claimant’s complaints shall now proceed to be determined on their merits,’.
Barring a settlement, the case will now go ahead in the UK employment tribunal at a later date!
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