Last week, the EAT found that in an unfair dismissal case it is incorrect to award compensation for future loss beyond the point an employee is entitled to work in the UK.
This case concerned a pastor who was granted temporary permission to work in the UK. In January 2010 his application to remain in the UK was refused. His employer unfairly dismissed him soon after. The employee was awarded six months' wages for future losses.
Whilst a letter stating that the employee was not entitled to remain in the UK beyond 10 May 2010 was not presented to the tribunal as evidence, the EAT found that the tribunal should have been alerted to this by other means. The EAT then restricted the compensation for future losses to 10 May 2010.
It is worth noting that the dismissal was found to be unfair because the employer acted automatically in response to news that the employee's application had been refused.
This decision underlines the need to carry out a reasonable investigation before dismissing, even in cases where, on the face of it, there appears to be obvious grounds for a fair dismissal.
The full case can be found here (Case name: Kings Castle Church v Okukusie UKEAT/0472/11/JOJ).