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Topic: US Employer Being Held to UK Employment Law  (Read 1239 times)

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US Employer Being Held to UK Employment Law
« on: September 03, 2019, 08:13:47 AM »
I've recently come across a quite difficult situation regarding my employment. I have been working in the UK  and also working for a US company for quite some time now. As we all know getting a BRP requires getting proof of address which you need to get on the NHS or anything here. I recently handed my 60-day notice to my employer in the US due to them basically giving my job away to other people without speaking to me prior, they were going to be decreasing my hours which would drastically change my income, with little no notice. I had spent weeks trying to contact them to get clarification on this as the woman who they gave my job too was confused as to what she was doing as we were both doing the same job! They basically demoted me in an effor to accommodate a team member who has a child and has childcare issues. They've known that I'm a patient of the cancer centre as well and they decided to cut my hours with little no notice and change my job entirely. They were also under the expectation that I was going to train all of their staff which is not in my contract. I made that clear to them which is why I also believe they fired me. I'm the only person on the team who knows how to operate the work system and I have various emails and text messages from their staff asking me to help and train them as a result of the owners sending them my way. It was all quite sneaky and immoral.

Long story short I've been a patient at the cancer centre (which they know!)  and I expressed dissatisfaction with them not accommodating me, not responding to my emails, they've paid me late or incorrectly several times and as a result, they terminated me.  I have a legal right to express my dissatisfaction with this and to bring up their wrongdoings.  They used the termination reason that they didn't like my tone (im upset) and that I was rude to their customers (which there was no proof of neither was there an offcial reprimanding of it) which I think they just pulled out of their a**.  I've been there for over two years which means in UK law im subject to certain protections and given my medical situation I believe I'm also due some type of protection.

The owner  tried to write the email with the subject line of "immediate resignation" and implying they are accepting my immediate resignation which I did not give. I gave them 60 days notice which they graciously accepted. I've been in touch with their HR who confirmed with me that they've terminated me (which is sort of good news if I want to pursue this) but he's implying that as a result of my employment and payroll  address as American, that my employment is not subject to UK Law.  Their payroll is American you cannot put a foreign address.

I've been in touch with some HR advisors and have done some legal research on cases involving expat laws while living and working abroad from a US company  and that they will be held to the employment laws of the host country. In my research, I've learned that since its quite obvious that I live here (everyone on the staff knows I live here, even there HR, I've declined US private health insurance due to not living there) I can hold them to UK/ European law, which means that since I worked there for two years, they can't unfairly dismiss me. As they are firing me on the basis of being rude to customers they will have had to formally  speak with me about this and have a formal coaching and documentation. This never occurred. I have overwhelming proof that I've lived here over the past two years tax, council tax, NHS, NHS payment, the bank account they pay me into despite it being American is registered to a London address.

As a result of my cancer diagnostics I had to take a short leave from my UK job given feeling unwell and operation. My next follow up appointment isn't until November. I also haven't been able to properly look for a job as now there's a chance I may also have cancer somewhere else in my body. I have another scheduled procedure for this. As I don't live in CA any longer what are my options? I've read online that since the country that I'm most related to is the UK I can file a tribunal here (but that could take ages). Due to the unlawful firing and overall handling of the situation (forcing my resignation which is not what occurred), I believe that I'm owed some type of severance compensation. Does anyone have advice on this?
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 08:21:45 AM by Californiagirl »


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Re: US Employer Being Held to UK Employment Law
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2019, 09:49:36 AM »
A couple questions that might help people understand your employment situation better... Did you have a UK employment contract with them? Were you an employee vs contractor? Was the employer paying NI and taxes to HRMC?

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this while battling cancer. :(

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Re: US Employer Being Held to UK Employment Law
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2019, 10:12:13 AM »
A couple questions that might help people understand your employment situation better... Did you have a UK employment contract with them? Were you an employee vs contractor? Was the employer paying NI and taxes to HRMC?

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this while battling cancer. :(

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Hi Margo thanks so much for your reply : ( and yes I am sorry as well *sigh So my contract was never updated by them when I moved to the UK
They don't pay to HMRC or NI as I do that through my UK employment. I do have other official paperwork as part of my employment that recognises that I live in London. They have also opted out of paying into a health insurance or health insurance fund as a result of me not being a resident which was submitted to their insurance provider. The paperwork details that I live in London with my husband. Not sure if any of that helps or not. I'm also considering filing a complaint against them with the CA labor board for not accomodating my illness and firing me despite me asking to accomodated and of course late pay days which violates CA law.


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Re: US Employer Being Held to UK Employment Law
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2019, 10:57:05 AM »



Hi Margo thanks so much for your reply : ( and yes I am sorry as well *sigh So my contract was never updated by them when I moved to the UK
They don't pay to HMRC or NI as I do that through my UK employment. I do have other official paperwork as part of my employment that recognises that I live in London. They have also opted out of paying into a health insurance or health insurance fund as a result of me not being a resident which was submitted to their insurance provider. The paperwork details that I live in London with my husband. Not sure if any of that helps or not. I'm also considering filing a complaint against them with the CA labor board for not accomodating my illness and firing me despite me asking to accomodated and of course late pay days which violates CA law.

You may want a UK tax professional too :( you've definitely missed some required filings if you haven't been paying tax on your US earnings.

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Re: US Employer Being Held to UK Employment Law
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2019, 11:42:22 AM »
To work for them from the UK, you either needed:

A.  A UK employment contract, they pay HMRC your income tax nd NI
B.  A self-employed contract, you invoice them your hours, they pay GROSS earnings, you file a self assessment to pay HMRC

Not an option:
C.  They continue to withhold US tax and social security from your US pay, without a UK employment contract

Have they been doing C?


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Re: US Employer Being Held to UK Employment Law
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2019, 01:02:26 PM »
They haven't been doing C either. I'm going to seek legal advice tomorrow on all of this. But I've learned that as a result of them operating in CA I'm eligible for disability claim as a result of my medical situation which I asked them to accommodate me for and never happened.  They chose to accommodate another team member instead by giving her my job. Also, there are other things such as paying me late or incorrectly. It's been a bad situation overall. A bit of  a blessing in disguise but still disappointing nonetheless.


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Re: US Employer Being Held to UK Employment Law
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2019, 03:30:36 PM »
That sounds like a stressful situation.  Good luck getting things sorted out.


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Re: US Employer Being Held to UK Employment Law
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2019, 05:17:14 PM »
They haven't been doing C either. I'm going to seek legal advice tomorrow on all of this. But I've learned that as a result of them operating in CA I'm eligible for disability claim as a result of my medical situation which I asked them to accommodate me for and never happened.  They chose to accommodate another team member instead by giving her my job. Also, there are other things such as paying me late or incorrectly. It's been a bad situation overall. A bit of  a blessing in disguise but still disappointing nonetheless.

Just curious what they have been doing then?  Do they pay US tax, UK tax, or gross pay?


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Re: US Employer Being Held to UK Employment Law
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2019, 05:26:50 PM »
They have just been paying US Tax :-X


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Re: US Employer Being Held to UK Employment Law
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2019, 11:25:32 AM »
They have just been paying US Tax :-X

Time to lawyer up.  If they know you live outside the USA, they are breaking all sorts of laws.  Hugs!


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Re: US Employer Being Held to UK Employment Law
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2019, 10:29:34 AM »
If you're part of a union you can usually get free legal advice - it could be very helpful to get you started, but you'll definitely need to talk to someone who understands the complexity of the US/UK employment situation. I read you were seeking legal advice a little while ago, hope they're helping you get it all sorted out!
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Re: US Employer Being Held to UK Employment Law
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2019, 09:20:07 AM »
Good luck finding a lawyer.  Sounds like they've been breaking all kinds of laws.

I'm sorry you're dealing with this and cancer at the same time.   :\\\'( :\\\'(
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