Tag: United Kingdom

DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT

A new case – 3 Jan 2020

On what kind of beliefs can an employee claim discrimination?

Most people are aware that it is unlawful to discriminate on grounds of gender, race or nationality, religion or belief, sexual orientation or disability.

An employment tribunal within the last week re-affirmed a fundamental principle of the Equality Act 2010, namely that the concept of ‘belief’ is not confined to just the Abrahamic religions, or any other religions, as some would have us believe!

‘Belief’ includes any philosophical belief, provided it is held genuinely and seriously, and includes, as in this case decided on 3rd January 2020, veganism. The claimant here was a vegan who believed that this was the reason that he had been victimised in the course of his employment. The employee had ethical objections to the way in which his employer behaved.

Of course, vegetarianism is included as well, as is, for instance, atheism and agnosticism and paganism. No belief has any privilege over any other – which I would say is exactly what you would expect in the law in a modern civilised secular society.

Kuldeep Clair

Senior Employment Solicitor

If you need expert advice on an employment issue, contact our consultant employment solicitor:

Kuldeep Clair – 07484 614090 or kuldeep@sterlinglawyers.co.uk

EQUAL PAY DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT

Just on Friday, a prominent new case was reported in the news involving equal pay.

It is prominent because it involved a claim by a well-known BBC journalist, Samira Ahmed, against her employer, on the basis that she had been underpaid for several years, for presenting one programme, amongst others. Her equal pay ‘comparator’ or rival BBC male journalist, was Jeremy Vine. Salary figures at the BBC had been made public as a matter of policy, and these showed that Mr Vine had been paid at a rate considerably more per programme, even though they both have been similarly experienced in their fields – over 25 years or so.

Of course, the BBC attempted to offer an alternative explanation for this disparity to the employment tribunal, but it was not accepted by the tribunal on the facts before it. The programmes in question were very similar and required similar skills. If the opposite had been accepted, the case would not have succeeded. Samira Ahmed’s success means that she will receive back pay for perhaps six years amounting to a six-figure sum. Six years is the maximum period for which an employee can claim back pay in an equal pay claim.

Our senior specialist employment solicitor, Kuldeep Clair comments, “I have found that claims for equal pay commonly turn on the ability of an employer to provide an explanation for the difference in pay. This can be difficult, but sometimes an explanation may not even be necessary, because the work simply is not easily ‘comparable’ at all. So there can be potential problems in both bringing and defending claims, unless you have expert professional representation.

Kuldeep dealt with an equal pay claim last year for a claimant which was settled for a substantial five figure sum. He was opposed by a prominent City firm, defending a national hospitality company. “The defence initially put forward by the employer was essentially the same”, says Kuldeep, “namely,  that my client’s work was of a different nature and could not be compared to the dozen male managers who occupied comparable positions to her. But they had a change-of-mind two weeks before the tribunal hearing date, when they realised the strengths of my client’s claim.

Kuldeep goes on to note that this year it is exactly 50 years since the introduction of the Equal Pay Act 1970, which was a turning point in anti-discrimination legislation. “We have now moved forwards a long way since the days when women were expected to either stay at home and do the dishes, or at most possibly expect to take menial work at whatever pittance of a rate was offered to them without any argument.

For advice on any employment issue, Kuldeep Clair can be contacted on 07484 614090 or kuldeep@sterlinglawyers.co.uk

FAMILY REUNION IN THE UK

PARENTS ARE ABLE TO JOIN THEIR CHILD WITH A REFUGEE STATUS IN THE UK

Our clients, who are Ukrainian nationals, were initially refused to enter the UK. They wanted to join their refugee child who was living in the UK with her grandmother. The grandmother had been struggling to provide adequate care for the child because she also cares for her husband who suffers from complex healthcare needs. The family’s separation was because of the conflict in Crimea, where our clients continued to live during the appeal process.

Sterling Law successfully appealed the aforementioned refusal.

In accordance with AT and another v Eritrea [2016] UKUT 227 (IAC):
Decision to maintain separation of the family is a disproportionate breach of the appellants’ Article 8 rights. The importance of the best interest of the child and the clear interest in maintaining the family unit outweighs the need to maintain immigration control.

The Judge accepted the applicability of the aforementioned case, and thus, despite the fact that

  • neither of the appellants spoke English and
  • both were dependent,

the Appeal was allowed on the basis of Article 8 ECHR and our clients where granted entry clearance in the UK and reunited with their child.

Similar immigration problem? Do you believe the Home Office made a wrong decision? Contact our experienced lawyers for professional advice.

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WHEN THE HOME OFFICE SHOULD EXERCISE DISCRETION

Applicants under the Points-based system

  • Tier 4 students,
  • Tier 2 and Tier 5 workers,
  • Tier 1 visa holders,

must strictly comply with all visa requirements and supply certain specified documents in support of their applications. It is clear in “stark terms” under paragraph 39B of the Immigration Rules that ‘if the necessary documents are not provided, an applicant will not meet the requirement for which those documents are required as evidence.’ As a result, an application will not be successful.

 

However, in case of exceptional circumstances the Home Office should exercise discretion. Moreover, since R (Behary & Ullah) v SSHD [2016] EWCA Civ 702, it has been good law that the Home Office is obliged to consider discretional grant [outside of the Rules] ‘when expressly asked to do so’. The categories of exceptional circumstances are not closed. In the guidance, examples are given of what could constitute such circumstances, but each case depends on its facts.

 

For example, discretional leave can be granted if educational provider has its licence withdrawn or revoked during the period between an application for extension of leave as a Tier 4 (General) Student and the Secretary of State’s decision on the application (see Patel (revocation of sponsor licence – fairness) India [2011] UKUT 00211 (IAC)).

 

However, the Home Office is quite strict in exercising discretion, especially, in case of Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) extensions. Recent cases of:

  • R (Prathipati) v SSHD (Discretion – Exceptional Circumstances) [2018] UKUT 427 (IAC);
  • R (Sajjad) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 720;
  • Khajuria, R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 1226 (Admin)
  • Asiweh v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 13

are good examples.

 

Thus, it is crucial to seek an immigration advice if not before submitting an application straight after receiving refusal. Our experienced Lawyers can assess the merits of bringing a judicial review claim and provide the best Immigration solution in case a judicial review would be waste of your time and financial resources.

 

I cannot provide all the documents to support my visa application, what do I do?

 

Are you currently on student, work, entrepreneur or any other point-based system visa and looking to extend it?

Or are you looking to apply for the first time?

You must strictly comply with the document list to support your application. Usually, the Home Office is very strict on this while they are evaluating your case, and if you do not provide a required document, your application may be refused.

However, sometimes, in case of exceptional circumstances, the Home Office may exercise discretion, and consider a grant.

There are several categories described in the guidance of such exceptional circumstances. However, each case should be evaluated on an individual basis.

Moreover, the Home Office is quite strict in exercising discretion, especially in case of Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) extensions.

We strongly suggest to seek legal advice before submitting such an application.

We can assess your case and evaluate your chances of getting visa.

However, if you already received a refusal, we still can help. Our lawyers will assess the merits of taking your case to the judicial review claim stage. If we think judicial review will not be successful, we’ll provide you other immigration solution.

The case was successful due to efforts of our Immigration Lawyer Oksana Demyanchuk and her team.

oksana@sterling-law.co.uk

+44 020 7822 8535

+44 7 305 966 531

 

 

ARTICLE 8 APPEAL OUTSIDE THE IMMIGRATION RULES ALLOWED ON THE SPOT!

Our client, a citizen of the Russian Federation, came to the UK at the age of 12 to study. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from a UK university, our client applied for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK under the ten-year continuous long Residency Rules.

The Home Office refused the application with no right of in-country appeal. The client’s previous legal representatives did not challenge this decision, at which point our client became an over-stayer as his continuous leave was broken. Instead, our client then applied for leave to remain based upon his private life. This application was refused on the grounds that our client did not satisfy requirements 276ADE of the Immigration Rules.

Immigration Rules 276ADE (1)

The requirements to be met by an applicant for leave to remain on the grounds of private life in the UK are that at the date of application, the applicant:

(i) does not fall for refusal under any of the grounds in Section S-LTR 1.1 to S-LTR 2.2. and S-LTR.3.1. to S-LTR.4.5. in Appendix FM; and

(ii) has made a valid application for leave to remain on the grounds of private life in the UK; and

(iii) has lived continuously in the UK for at least 20 years (discounting any period of imprisonment); or

(v) is aged 18 years or above and under 25 years and has spent at least half of his life living continuously in the UK (discounting any period of imprisonment); or

(vi) subject to sub-paragraph (2), is aged 18 years or above, has lived continuously in the UK for less than 20 years (discounting any period of imprisonment) but there would be very significant obstacles to the applicant’s integration into the country to which he would have to go if required to leave the UK.

 

After approaching numerous other lawyers, the client approached Sterling Law. Our lawyer, Oksana Demyanchuk and her team lodged an appeal with the First-tier Tribunal on the grounds that the decision was a breach of our client’s Article 8 ECHR human rights. In particular, the emphasis was placed on the fact that our client had established an extensive private life in the UK since his entry. After considering the grounds put forward and the bundle of documents provided in support of the appeal, the Judge allowed the appeal on a spot despite our client not meeting any of the Immigration Rules! In doing so, the Judge found that

the Home Office timing resulted in unfairness because it effectively prevented the appellant from benefiting from paragraph 276 ADE of the Immigration Rules when he had qualified for indefinite leave to remain.

 

Moreover, the Judge found that our client

  • has built up a significant private life in the United Kingdom;
  • has the English language skills of a native speaker;
  • is financially independent; and
  • It would be in public interest to retain him in the country.

Bearing the above in mind, it was held that any interference in the Appellant’s private life will result in unjustifiably harsh consequences.

 

Thanks to Oksana Demyanchuk and her team, our client can remain in the UK which already become a home for him.

 

Contact us should you have any immigration-related question:

oksana@sterling-law.co.uk and michael@sterling-law.co.uk

+44 (0) 207 822 8535

You can also text us via facebook.

AFTER FIVE REFUSALS CLIENT OBTAINED LEGAL IMMIGRATION STATUS IN THE UK

Our client, a national of Sierra Leone, came to the UK as a visitor. Since one of his family members was involved in political activities against the government our client feared for his life on return to Sierra Leone and decided to stay in the UK.

He applied, without legal representatives, for leave to remain on the medical grounds twice. However, these applications were refused.

After several years he applied for leave to remain on the human rights grounds. Again, the Home Office refused these human rights applications although our client had integrated into UK society, having lived here for over 16 years at the time of the last refusal. Moreover, for the last four years, he has been in a relationship with a British citizen and has established a close relationship with her British child from the previous relationship. They all lived together and our client cares for the child while his mother is at work.

 

Sterling Law successfully appealed the last Home Office refusal. In reaching his decision the Judge stressed that:

The welfare of the minor child of this family is a primary consideration in my deliberations. The child is British, entitled to the benefits of his citizenship, which include living in Britain and having access to its education, health and social care systems. Moreover, the child enjoys regular direct contact with his biological father that would be lost if the child has to leave the UK.

 

It follows that it is not reasonable and to remove our client from the UK as he is one of the main carers for the qualifying child. Thus, the Judge allowed the appeal on the human right grounds.

 

Thanks to Sterling Law, the client finally obtained legal immigration status in the UK after over 10 years fighting for his rights with the Home Office.

 

Contact us should you have any immigration-related question:

+44 (0) 207 822 8535

contact@sterling-law.co.uk

DRUG CONTROL POLICEMAN GRANTED ASYLUM IN THE UK

Our client worked in the Police Force for several years. He was involved in investigating cases against a number of high profile individuals as well as arrests of police officers who had links to organised crime and the Mafia. After one of such investigations, our client had been attacked on his way home. Then, his home had been broken into. Later on, our client found out that the person in whose arrest he was involved had been released from prison without charge. After that, the police unit our client had worked in had subsequently been closed down.

As a result of these activities, our client left his country of origin, where he would likely to face arrest and ill-treatment. Obtaining a visa, he arrived in the UK and claimed asylum. After arrival to the UK, our client even received a summons notifying him of criminal proceedings against him.

However, the Home Office refused his asylum claim stating that many facts are speculative and our client:

Had failed to show a sustained or systemic failure in State protection on the part of the authorities in his country of origin if he were to be returned.

 

It was at this point that the client approached Sterling Law and, due to the work of Oksana Demyanchuk and her team, sufficient evidence was provided to convince the Judge that:

 

the State in the country of origin would not be able to provide adequate protection to the appellant.

 

Thus, the Judge found that our client has a well-founded fear of persecution in his country of origin and:

 

his removal would cause the United Kingdom to be in breach of its obligations under Qualification Rules and under the 1950 Convention.

 

The Appeal was allowed and our client obtained refugee status in the UK.

 

Contact us should you have any immigration-related question:

oksana@sterling-law.co.uk and michael@sterling-law.co.uk

+44 (0) 207 822 8535

You can also text us via facebook.

DOMESTIC WORKER GRANTED SUBSEQUENT LEAVE TO REMAIN OUTSIDE OF THE IMMIGRATION RULES

Can a domestic worker in a private household establish a family life with the family they work with?
If Oksana Demyanchuk is dealing with your case, then yes!

 

Our client, a Russian national, has been working as a nanny for a family, since the birth of their first child five years ago. When the family moved to the UK, our client obtained a six-month domestic worker in a private household visa to accompany them to the UK and continue her employment as the family’s nanny.

As a nanny to the children, our client spent a significant amount of time with them since their birth and has become incredibly close to the children. One of the children who has several health issues has built a particularly trusting relationship with our client.

Due to the particular circumstances of the family, our client’s support of the family is vital. By the time our client’s leave to remain was due to expire our client’s support to the family was irreplaceable.

However, from April 2012 the Immigration Rules does not allow domestic worker visa holders to extend their stay in the UK beyond a total six-month limit.

 

Therefore, our client applied for leave to remain on the basis of her human rights, in particular, her right to private and family life in the UK.

 

The Home Office refused to accept that family life between our client and her employers and their children existed for the purposed of Article 8 ECHR. Accordingly, an appeal was lodged with the First-tier Tribunal.

At the appeal, on the grounds and documents advanced by Oksana Demyanchuk, the Judge found that

There are no hard and fast rules as to what constitutes family life within the compass of Article 8. And thus, given the nature of the dependency, family life exists in this case for the purpose of Article 8.

 

Moreover, the Judge accepted that more than normal emotional ties exist between the Appellant and the family and the refusal to grant our client leave to remain is disproportionate and constitutes a breach of her Article 8 ECHR rights. Thus, the appeal was allowed.

 

Contact us should you have any immigration-related question:

oksana@sterling-law.co.uk and michael@sterling-law.co.uk

+44 (0) 207 822 8535

You can also text us via facebook.

EEA IMMIGRATION RULES: THE IMPORTANCE OF TIMELY IMMIGRATION ADVICE

Our client, a Brazilian National, joined her EEA national spouse in the UK many years ago. Later, her 2 children came to the UK to join their mother and stepfather. They all were granted residence cards several times. However, after 10-years in a relationship, our client got divorced. She and her children applied for permanent residence on the basis of the retained right of residence. However, their applications were refused.

 

The Home Office stated that our clients had not provided adequate evidence to show that their EEA national sponsor exercised his Treaty rights in the UK as a worker for a continuous period of 5 years.

At this stage, the family came to Sterling Law to seek Immigration advice.

In fact, two of the clients (mother and the youngest child) acquired Permanent Residence even in 2011 (under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016). However, as the older child turned 21 years after 4,5 years of continuous residency in the UK, he needed to show dependency on the EEA sponsor or his mother for remaining half a year to qualify for permanent residence. But during this time he was employed and was earning even more than his mother. Thus, he could not show the required dependency.

At this late stage, Sterling Law lodged an Appeal. The Judge was satisfied that sufficient evidence of ex-husband employment history was provided and thus, allowed the appeal in respect of mother and the younger child.

As the older child was not able to show dependency on his mother for the required period, he did not meet the requirements to obtain permanent residence. However, he is able to obtain leave to remain and Sterling Law is now lodging the application. But would he seek immigration advice before his 21st birthday, he might already become a British citizen.

 

Do not postpone your application.

Contact us should you have any immigration related question:

Nollienne Alparaque

Email: Nollienne@sterling-law.co.uk

Tel. 020 7822 8535

RETAINED RIGHT OF RESIDENCE

UNABLE TO OBTAIN ID FROM YOUR EX-SPOUSE? ALTERNATIVE EVIDENCE CAN BE ACCEPTED

Our client, a national of Turkmenistan, applied for a residence card as someone who had retained the right to reside in the UK. She was married to an EEA national but their marriage has now ended. Her ex-husband set up his own business when they married and was doing that when they divorced. Thus, our client satisfied one of the main requirements of Regulation 10 of The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016. Necessary documents proving ex-husband’s employment (e.g. tax returns) were submitted with the application.

However, the Home Office refused our client’s application noting that “she had not provided evidence that her ex-husband had been working at the date of divorce”. In addition, our client was unable to provide a copy of an identity document for her ex-husband since he has been completely uncontactable. She has tried to call and speak with her ex-husband on a number of occasions, contacted him via emails and whatsapp. However, he either did not respond or clearly showed an unwillingness to assist her. Thus, it was beyond our client’s control to produce the required identity document.

In accordance with the Reg. 42 of The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016:

Alternative evidence of identity and nationality

where a provision of these Regulations requires a person to hold or produce a valid national identity card issued by an EEA State or a valid passport, the Secretary of State may accept alternative evidence of identity and nationality where the person is unable to obtain or produce the required document due to circumstances beyond the person’s control.

 

Sterling Law successfully appealed the initial refusal. The Judge was satisfied that sufficient evidence regarding the ex-husband employment was provided. Moreover, following the provisions of Reg. 42 the Judge accepted the expired EEA document of her ex-husband (provided with the previous successful application for a residence card) as the evidence of nationality and identity of her ex-husband.

 

Contact us should you have any immigration related question:

Jekaterina Trubina

Email: Jekaterina@sterling-law.co.uk

Tel. 020 7822 8535

 

Shakir Hussain

Email: Shakir@sterling-law.co.uk

Tel. 020 7822 8535