Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

In Afzal v East London Pizza Ltd (t/a Dominos Pizza) (Rev 1) [2018] UKEAT 0265_17_1304 the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) overturned the ruling of an Employment Tribunal that the dismissal of a worker who had failed to prove his right to work in the UK was fair; the EAT held that the failure to allow him to appeal the decision denied him an opportunity to provide the relevant information and therefore rendered his dismissal unfair.

The factual background of Afzal v East London Pizza Ltd (t/a Dominos Pizza)

Mr Afzal, who is from Pakistan, commenced employment with East London Pizza Ltd t/a Dominos Pizza (“ELP”) on 27 October 2009 as a delivery driver; by August 2016 he had been promoted to the position of assistant manager (and manager in training).

Mr Afzal was married to an EU national and acquired time-limited leave to work in the UK, which expired on 12 August 2016. After that time, having been a permanent resident for 5 years, he had the right to apply for a document evidencing his right to permanent residence; this, in turn, would continue his right to work. The application for this document could not be submitted before 15 July.

An employer is liable to prosecution (under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (“the Act”)) and the payment of substantial civil fines (under the same Act) if they employ a person who has no right to work in the UK.

ELP was experienced in dealing with immigration issues concerning its employees; these were handled by a member of its HR team, Mr Cunningham. He wrote to Mr Afzal on 3 June and 15 July 2016 reminding him that he should present ELP with evidence that he had made an in-time evidence application, and that he should do so before 11 August 2016 to avoid last-minute problems. Mr Afzal did not send any such evidence, although he had made the relevant application to the Home Office in time. In the end he only sent evidence of his application to ELP by email at 4.28pm on 12 August 2016, with this email containing two attachments which apparently contained evidence of the application.

Mr Sahota, the manager dealing with the matter on ELP’s behalf, could not open the attachments. He explained this to Mr Afzal, and he expected Mr Afzal to send him in a form he could read. However, Mr Cunningham, fearing a breach of the Act if ELP continued to employ Mr Afzal without evidence of his application, posted notice of termination to Mr Afzal on 15 August 2016; this was received by Mr Afzal on 15 August 2016. No disciplinary procedure was followed prior to Mr Afzal’s dismissal, and he was afforded no right of appeal against the decision to dismiss him.

Mr Afzal pursued a claim for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal.

The decision of the Employment Tribunal

The Employment Tribunal rejected Mr Afzal’s claim for unfair dismissal, holding that the potentially fair reason for dismissal was ‘Some Other Substantial Reason’ and that the dismissal as a whole was not rendered unfair to offer a right of appeal.

Mr Afzal appealed against this decision.

The decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal

The EAT upheld Mr Afzal’s appeal, holding that an appeal was integral to whether a dismissal had been fair or not and, further, that the Employment Judge had made an error of law in applying the test for the fairness of the dismissal. The EAT held that the allowing of an appeal in Mr Afzal’s circumstances may have led to the provision of the evidence showing that he had made his application for permission to continue to work in the UK in time and, therefore, may have prevented his dismissal.

The EAT remitted the case to the Employment Judge to deal with the fairness of the dismissal and remedy.

Our solicitors’ comments on Afzal v East London Pizza Ltd (t/a Dominos Pizza)

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “As HHJ Richardson stated in his judgment, the right of appeal will normally be an essential ingredient in whether a dismissal was fair or not; the failure to allow an appeal will generally (although not always) render a dismissal unfair.”

The transcript of the EAT’s decision in Afzal v East London Pizza Ltd (t/a Dominos Pizza) can be found here.


Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

    Your first name (required)

    Your last name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Your telephone number (required)

    Brief details of your enquiry


    4.81 Average

    313 Reviews


    Sacha was very thorough and very helpful, with great advice on when to act and when to wait on my case.

    Posted 2 days ago


    I have been very pleased with the support I got from Redmans Solicitors on my case with my employer. Caroline has always helped me to put things in perspective and showed me different scenarios ultimately to help me taking the right decision. She was very professional and always available when I needed, and at the same time also emphatic which I found also really important to establish a strong relationship. Will definitely recommend!

    Posted 4 days ago


    Prompt and efficient response to my enquiries. Excellent negotiating skills with my employer which considerably improved the terms of my settlement agreement.

    Posted 4 days ago


    Very quick and professional service , Rana was very helpful

    Posted 5 days ago

    James G

    Very professional, knowledgeable and kept me informed at every stage of my case. I would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 6 days ago

    Pravina P

    Chris was really good and help solve my issues with current company. I would recommend him to anyone.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Paul L

    Sacha was extremely helpful in my matter. I would not hesitate you use Sacha or Redmonds again. Everyone was very helpful.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Monique N

    I had Mel Chin helping me with a settlement and she was very professional and reliable throughout my case. Mel provided me with a good understanding of what was happening and gave suggestions on routes I could take. My case was resolved and closed promptly although the opposing side were very difficult to deal with. A very big thank you to Mel and Chris.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Jackie C

    My first ever experience needing the services of a solicitor; cannot speak highly enough of Mel and Chris’s personable, reassuring and straight to the point advice in dealing with my settlement agreement. They put me at ease during an extremely stressful time. I am equally as happy with the outcome, as l am their professional services.

    Posted 3 weeks ago


    Really happy with the service. All very efficient. Mel rattled through things very fast, however was great whenever I needed to stop and ask a question! Would definitely return to Redmans if I ever needed Legal advice.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Peter F

    Very helpful and clear advice, would highly recommend.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    William A

    Second time I have had to use Redmans. They did not disappoint. They are fast , efficient and friendly. I have already recommended them to friends and colleagues. I hope I dont have to use them again but if I have to , they are the solicitors for me.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Fleeta C

    Great service with tantastic communications. The solicitor responsible is extremely knowledgeable and was responsible for bringing a timely and desired solution.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Veronica M

    Extremely helpful, starting from a request for advice at very short notice, to dedicating time for me to understand and review all documents thoroughly.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Sophie R

    Very efficient and professional service. Chris was very empathetic, knowledgeable and personable. Highly recommended.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Melanie M

    Very happy with the detailed advice provided from Redmans. They also helped me to secure a higher settlement than originally offered by my employer and were extremely diligent. I first spoke with Chris at relatively short notice and then Sacha dealt with my case. Would definitely recommend and use again in the future if needed.

    Posted 1 month ago


    Redmans helped me with a work related issue, which was resolved quickly and professionally. I would definitely recommend this company.

    Posted 1 month ago

    James F

    Great people, really friendly and professional helped with everything that I needed.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anusha S

    My case was handled by Sacha who was very thorough and helped me to achieve a good outcome with my employer. Sacha was very personal, professional and helped me during quite a stressful time, so I am hugely grateful to her and to Redmans. This was my first time engaging with a law firm so I wasn't sure what to expect but I can definitely say that it was a good experience overall and I ended up better off due to having the help of an experienced and proactive solicitor on my side.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Diane P

    So grateful that I contacted Redmans to deal with my Redundancy Agreement. Everything from the initial call to the completion of the matter was professional, efficient and effective. I was listened to, had everything explained simply and kept informed of every step. I received super advice and the costs were very competitive. I would highly recommend them to anyone seeking similar help. First class service - thank you

    Posted 1 month ago

    Chris L

    It was a very efficient and effective service - Would recommend.

    Posted 1 month ago