Client Newsletter Blog November 2016

Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016

Well Christmas is almost upon us. For most people it is a time of great joy and happiness as they get to spend quality time with family, friends and some old acquaintances. People give and receive presents if they can afford it. Parents try and make an effort to ensure that their children have a magical time. For some parents this means a few lies, others prefer to be honest.

Christmas behinds the scenes[i] involves a lot of washing, cleaning, shopping, painting the house, baking, decorating, presents and even more baking and cooking. The amount that gets done is usually phenomenal. Most people are exhausted Boxing day!

I found a note on a study of 2000[ii] parents which found that 1 in 10 [iii]men admit that they do nothing around Christmas time. Mums tend to take on an additional 24 chores.[iv]

A joyful Christmas usually means one spouse, usually the woman has worked hard. This does not mean for one minute that fathers/ men do absolutely nothing. It’s just a successful Christmas tends to falls on women with usually a small contribution being made by the husband. The fact that women tend to do the chores causes a lot of argument around Christmas time. Six out of ten couples argue with about Christmas chores.

January therefore is usually the busiest month for a divorce/ family lawyer’s calendar as many people make it their new year’s resolution to divorce or part company with their spouse. More often than not it is the wife who wants to separate. There is no quick fix to this problem. At Christmas time the only advice I can give is what people already know they should do:-

·        Share the responsibility of Christmas or even better, the offending spouse should give time off to the spouse that tends to do most of the work.

·        Sharing work alleviates the pressure of Christmas.

·        List what needs to be done and agree who should carry out what chores.

·        Do not tell your spouse how to do the chore, leave them to get on with it.

·        Appreciate the work carried out.

·        Tips for alleviating the Christmas stress: buy less Christmas presents, reduce the ‘to do’ list, buy cakes, do not bake[v], call do not send cards, scale back on the Christmas decorations, stay at home and cuddle your partner instead of rushing around to try and see everyone. Do what is necessary to reduce the dish washing, so plates that go in the dishwasher will be better than using the fine china. I could suggest paper plates, but I would not do so. You could also do finger food instead of the usual huge feast[vi].

I hope this helps and you find some tips to alleviate the Christmas stress in your household. If you think your friends are going down the argument route because of Christmas, please refer them to this article.

If all else fails and come January you or a friend must part company with a spouse. I would suggest that you talk to a counsellor first to see if the marriage/ relationship can be saved

Employers fairly dismiss man who had indefinite leave to remain in the UK

Jamaica's coat of arms


A Jamaican man is dismissed from the employ of Abellio London Ltd because he could not provide his employers with evidence that he was entitled to live and work in the UK.


The case

In the case of Baker v Abellio London Ltd (2016), Mr Baker, the Claimant, had travelled from Jamaica to the United Kingdom as a child; at the time he was using a Jamaican passport. Mr Baker had lived in the United Kingdom for a long time and had indefinite leave to remain. However he had not left the United Kingdom for a holiday accordingly his Jamaican passport had expired and he had not acquired a UK passport.

Mr Baker was employed by a transport company, Abellio Ltd. The employers were checking the staffs’ immigration status. Mr Baker was asked to provide evidence of his immigration status.  Mr Baker had to prove to his employers that he had a right to live and work in the UK without restriction. Mr Baker did not have a valid Jamaican passport as it had lapsed. Nor did he have a UK passport. Mr Baker could not prove he had indefinite leave to remain, although it had been acquired.

Mr Baker was loaned £350 by his employer to enable him to get the correct legal documents to avoid dismissal. He failed to do so.

Mr Baker acquired the passport as requested by his employers; however he failed to obtain the endorsement as proof of his indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Mr Baker was not a UK citizen. He was a Jamaican national, even though he had indefinite leave to remain. A passport alone therefore was not sufficient evidence of his rights to live and work in the UK. The endorsement was required.

Mr Baker’s employers had arranged a meeting with him to discuss the matter and warned him that he may be dismissed. Mr Baker failed to attend the meeting.

Mr Baker was ultimately dismissed. He appealed, but the appeal failed. The employers Abellio had followed a fair dismissal procedure; accordingly the dismissal was fair and Mr Baker’s claim for unfair dismissal was rejected.

I understand that 13% of the UK population do not own a passport; however if you are subject to the immigration rules of the UK, you have to comply in order to work.


·        Employer: provided you follow a fair dismissal procedure and the employee has not provided you with valid documents to prove their right to work in the UK, your dismissal would be viewed as fair by the employment tribunal.

·        Employee: it is a prerequisite that you ensure you have valid evidence of your right to live and work in the UK. Do not let your passport or relevant legal document lapse without obtaining a replacement. Failure to do so may result in you losing your job for no good reason. You will not get any legal redress.





[i] I can only write from a Caribbean perspective here. I assume it is the same for most households; but assume other cultures are the same.


[iii] hmm, I think it is much higher

[iv] Again, I feel that it is more than 24

[v] I admit some of my close friends put in their cake orders from last year!