The power of an appeal: more than just a pizza topping
The Employment Appeals Tribunal has confirmed in the case of Afzal v East London Pizza Ltd t/a Dominos Pizza that an employee dismissed for failing to evidence his continued right to work in the UK, should have had the right to appeal his dismissal.
Mr Afzal was employed by Dominos. Although his work visa was due to expire, his right to work could be extended provided he had applied to confirm his right to permanent residence, and could evidence the application. Although Mr Afzal sent Dominos an email purporting to evidence this, because Dominos could not open it and being concerned about potential criminal and civil penalties for continuing to employ him, Dominos dismissed him on the expiry of his work visa. No right of appeal was given.
This case confirmed that although there was nothing wrong with the initial decision to dismiss, as a genuine belief was held, this did not preclude an appeal. An appeal could have established that Dominos’ belief that Mr Afzal’s continued employment would have been illegal, while genuine, was wrong. Mr Afzal could have provided relevant documents, assurances could have been provided from his solicitor, or the Home Office Employer Checking Service could have been used. If his continued right to work had been established, Mr Afzal could have been reinstated and employed lawfully.