The Employment Appeals Tribunal recently made a declaration that it had no jurisdiction to hear a claim by an ex retail employee, under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, because the former employee did not hold a valid employment permit at the time of his dismissal in May 2013.

The former employee was hired by the employer in one of their supermarkets in the Limerick area from December 2006 until his employment was terminated in May 2013. The former employee is a non-EEA National and therefore requires a work permit to secure employment in this jurisdiction.

The representative for the employer raised the issue as to whether the Tribunal had jurisdiction to hear a claim under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2015 given that when the former employee’s employment was terminated he did not have a work permit and therefore was not permitted to work lawfully for the employer or any employer within this State.

Section 4 of the Employment Permits Act 2014 only provides for civil proceedings to be initiated in cases of underpayment or non-payment of monies as a result of work carried out by a foreign national. The instant case does not concern the underpayment or non-payment of monies. The provisions of Section 4 do not extend to the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2015.

Mr Justice Hogan in the High Court Decision of Hussein v the Labour Court and Younis [2012] IEHC 364 at paragraph 19 and 20 specifically refers to the fact that there is no right of suit for persons under the Unfair Dismissals Acts where no valid work permit exists.

The claim under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2015 was therefore not justiciable, and dismissed.

Printable Version: InBrief – Unfair Dismissal and non-EEA Workers

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