Employee wins unfair dismissal case despite illegal status
An employer has lost their case for unfair dismissal in Okedina v Chikale, despite the employee not having the right to work here.
The employee came to the UK as a domestic worker with the right to work in the UK for six months only, however she ended up working here for two years.
The employer dismissed her at this point and she then brought a claim for unfair dismissal.
In defence, the employer argued that the employment contract was illegal as it was never set up as a temporary contract to reflect her temporary status, and is therefore void.
However this argument failed. As the contract could be ended on six week’s notice, the court found the contract was not in breach of immigration law. While working here illegally is a criminal offence, the contract itself was still valid and could therefore not be used as a reason to dismiss her.
This case comes after another employer lost their case for unfair dismissal when their employee could not provide documentation to complete the employer’s ‘right to work’ checks.