Applicable law—which system of law applies to the contract or employment relationship
Produced in partnership with Tom Linden QC of Matrix Chambers
Applicable law—which system of law applies to the contract or employment relationship

The following Employment guidance note Produced in partnership with Tom Linden QC of Matrix Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Applicable law—which system of law applies to the contract or employment relationship
  • Overview of Rome Convention and Rome I
  • Rome I—generally
  • Rome I—employment contracts
  • Determining which mandatory law applies
  • Determining which mandatory law applies—the ‘habitual place of work’ test
  • Determining which mandatory law applies—the ‘closer connection’ test
  • Determining which mandatory law applies—the non-derogable provisions
  • Determining which mandatory law applies—Overriding mandatory provisions
  • Applicable law manifestly incompatible with the public policy of the forum
  • more

BREXIT IMPACT: The law as set out in this Practice Note will be affected by Brexit. For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—applicable law. For background reading, links to related guidance and policy documents and the latest analysis on Brexit, please refer to the Brexit toolkit. See also the Brexit legislation tracker and Practice Note: Brexit—implications for employment law.

Where a dispute or claim arises in respect of an employee who works wholly or partly abroad and/or has a foreign employer, two questions will need to be determined:

  1. what are the employee’s rights?

  2. where should any litigation that may ultimately arise be adjudicated?

In determining these questions, three main issues arise:

  1. applicable law, ie which system of law is applicable to the contract of employment under consideration?

  2. international jurisdiction, ie whose courts and/or tribunals should decide the case?

  3. the territorial scope of relevant applicable or mandatory law, ie how the courts and employment tribunals decide what statutory rights (if any) the employee has, both in terms of:

    1. purely domestic law rights, and

    2. rights derived from EU law

This Practice Note deals with the first question, ie which system of law is applicable to the contract of employment or employment relationship under consideration.

For information:

  1. on jurisdiction, see Practice Note: International jurisdiction—the Brussels regime for allocating cases between national courts and tribunals

  2. on territorial scope,