Migrants working illegally still have employment rights

In the high profile lawsuit “Okedina v. ChiKale” [2019] EWCA Civ 1393, Ms. Okedina arranged for Ms. Chicale to move to the UK as a domestic worker and made an application for her British visa.
Ms. Okedina was not able to extend the visa of her domestic worker, hiding this fact from Ms. Chikale. In the end, the relationship between the employer and the employee was broken, and Ms. Cicale demanded compensation from Ms. Okedina for various violations of employment law, including illegal dismissal, racial discrimination and illegal deductions of wages.
Ms. Okedina's position was that Ms. Chikale did not have any employment rights because she worked in violation of UK immigration laws.
This argument failed in the employment tribunal, the employment appeal tribunal and, most recently, in the Court of Appeal. Lord Justice Underhill noted that he could not interpret the current legislation in favor of Ms. Okedina, stating that often in cases of illegal employment the employee himself was not at fault.

Posted on Aug 20, 2019.

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