Employer Wrong to Suspend Employee Without Pay
This case of Okuoimise v City Facilities (UK) Ltd concerned a family member of an EU citizen and her right to work in the UK. The EAT held that the expiry of the right of residence stamp in her passport did not affect her entitlement to work in the UK. The employer was held to have therefore acted incorrectly when it chose to suspend her without pay on the expiry of her residence stamp (acting under the genuine, but incorrect, assumption that it risked illegal working penalties). In reality she was entitled to work in the UK by virtue of her marriage to a Spanish national regardless of the residence stamp in her passport. Mrs Okuoimose’s claim for unlawful deduction from wages therefore succeeded before the EAT.
The case highlights the difficulties for employers faced with the conflicting demands of potential illegal working issues and the fair treatment of staff. This area can be complex and we strongly advise our clients to get in touch with us when facing similar issues.
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