San Ling Chinese Medicine Centre v Lean Wei Ji - Contract of employment was not made unenforceable by illegality [2010] EAT

A contract of employment is not unenforceable as being illegal merely because changed circumstances mean a work permit could be revoked; actual revocation of the work permit would be required

When, in 2007, Lean Wei Ji was dismissed from the San Ling Chinese Medicine Centre, an employment tribunal ruled that her dismissal was automatically unfair for failure to follow the statutory dismissal procedures then in force. It awarded her over £12,000. The Medicine Centre had argued that in fact Ms Ji's contract was illegal - it asserted that she had been working in full-time employment while in the UK on a student visa, in breach of the Immigration Rules - and that therefore the tribunal simply had no jurisdiction to consider the claim.

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