The general rule is that it’s illegal to work for an employer after the employees working visa has expired. The employee will no longer be able to bring a breach of employment contract claim against his employer due to the defence of ‘illegality’ of contract.
The case of Okedina v Chikale  EWCA Civ 1393 held that there are some circumstances in which an employment contract can still be enforceable despite breaching an immigration rule.
The claimant, Ms Chikale, and the respondent, Mrs Okedina, are both Malawian nationals. The claimant was granted a 6-month visa to work as a nanny for the respondent. Little did the claimant know, her visa was granted based on false information given by the respondent. The respondent goes further by letting the claimant stay and work in the UK even after her visa expired. Few months after, the claimant is earning £200 per month. The respondent dismissed the claimant after she requested more money.
The respondent’s defence of illegality was denied by the court. Great emphasis was placed on the fact that the claimant was innocent the whole time, and she was not aware that she has been working illegally.
In many cases, the balance of power in an employment relationship often tip in favour of the employer rather than the employee hence why vicious employers exploit workers by depriving them of their rights often becoming victims of trafficking.
If you think that your employer is depriving you of your employment rights, immediately contact our lawyers in Sterling Law, a Legal 500 firm based in London.
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