Those rules allow employees, notwithstanding what might appear in the contract of employment, to sue their employer before the court which they regard as closest to their interests. This allows the option of proceeding before the courts of the Member State in which the employer is domiciled, or the courts of the place where the employee habitually carries out his or her work, or where the work is not carried out in any one country, before the courts of the place where the business which hired the employee is situated. Consequently, jurisdiction clauses in contracts of employment may not be enforceable against employees, depending on the individual circumstances, specifically in relation to location of work.
In the instant case, the employees’ “home base” was held to be a significant indicator when determining the appropriate jurisdiction in which to have disputes in relation to the contracts of employment heard. The employees in question were based in Charleroi, and as such, they were not required to pursue a claim in relation to their employment in the jurisdiction of Ireland, despite a clause in the contracts indicating otherwise.
This is a case which was, to an extent, decided on the individual facts. If any Ibec member believes that they may be affected by the issues raised, please feel free to contact Ibec’s Employment Law Services Unit at 01 605 1500.
Thursday, 21 September 2017