Appealing Employees

The recent case of Afzal v East London Pizza Ltd t/a Dominos Pizza [2019] IRLR 119, EAT reminds employers of the importance of allowing a right to appeal against a dismissal, even where such an appeal appears to be futile.

Mr Afzal, who was born in Pakistan, was dismissed by his employer when he failed to produce evidence that he had applied to extend his right to work in the UK. He was not given an opportunity to appeal. At first instance, the employment tribunal found in favour of the employer, saying, in essence, that there was “nothing to appeal against” since there was no evidence he had the right to work in the UK.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal overturned that Judgment and found in favour of the employee. It later transpired that, in fact, Mr Afzal had made an application for renewal of his right to work and he was entitled to continue working in the UK. Although he had failed to communicate that to his employer at the time of his dismissal, it could have been established on appeal.

The EAT stated that, “There is no doubt that in modern employment relations practice the provision of an appeal is virtually universal.”

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