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My wife is employed by a company based and registered in Guernsey. The company is also registered at Companies House (in the UK). I know generally the Channel Islands adopt UK laws, so is she covered by UK employment laws such as TUPE and those that govern things like statutory redundancy pay? Does it matter that they are also registered in the UK?

She is a UK citizen and resident. She works from home most of the time. When she does have to go into the office, it is their office in Bristol.

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  • Where does she do her work?
    – phoog
    Dec 15 '17 at 22:35
  • @phoog good point. I have added this information to the question.
    – Darren
    Dec 16 '17 at 0:09
  • As far as I'm aware anyone who employs someone in the UK must abide by UK employment law, regardless of the employer's place of incorporation.
    – phoog
    Dec 16 '17 at 3:46
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There are two legal jurisdictions in the Channel Islands, the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey.

The law in Guernsey differs from the law in the UK partly because the Common Law developed differently (more Norman influence on Guernsey than on England) and partly because Guernsey and the UK have different legislatures and so pass different laws.

Until recently the UK was a member of an organisation based in Belgium and Luxembourg called the European Union which has its own legal system and courts and which requires member states to enact identical legislation in certain matters including, in particular, employment law. Although the UK is no longer a member of the EU most of its employment laws remain as they were in the EU-era. By contrast Guernsey has never been a member of the EU. So this is an additional reason for differences in laws.

Generally the parties to a contract can stipulate what law governs the contract and which country's courts have jurisdiction. For example a contract between a Guernsey company and an individual resident in England could be stipulated to be governed by the laws of France and subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of Barbados (this particular example is highly unlikely but I am just illustrating the principle). If the contract does not stipulate the law (or the contract is unwritten) then there are default rules which determine which jurisdiction's laws apply.

However, that said, most countries, including England and Wales, have some "mandatory" employment laws. These are laws which apply to everyone employed in England (or Wales) even if England/Wales does not generally cover the contract of employment. Mandatory laws typically cover such things as minimum pay rates, rest periods, minimum paid holiday entitlement, protection from unfair dismissal etc.

So some employment laws in England and Wales apply to everyone working in England and Wales whilst some other aspects of the employment relationship are governed by the law of the contract - which might be England and Wales or might be some other system of law.

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  • Thank you. This was an old question!
    – Darren
    Oct 22 '21 at 9:04
  • @Darren Better late than never!
    – Nemo
    Oct 22 '21 at 16:20

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