Close Relationship between an Employer and an Employee

Danielle Cohen
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
29 October 2020

All our clients are important to us but sometimes there are cases which touch our hearts more than others.  Such was the case of the appellant who was a citizen of the Philippines and who we helped to appeal against the Home Office decision refusing her application for Leave to Remain in the UK on the basis of her family and private life.

Our client had a UK work visa to work for a family, but left her employers as she was unhappy.  She did not have enough money to extend her visa and did not want to return to the Philippines.  In the Summer of 2011 she was introduced to a British national, Mrs X, and began working as a housekeeper and carer looking after the husband who was suffering from serious health problems.  Sadly he died and the appellant remained in employment, living in the house.  In recent years Mrs X’s health declined and following the death of her husband, the relationship between the two women became closer. In 2019 we made an application for the appellant for Leave to Remain in the UK based on the relationship with Mrs X and the original application was refused by the Home Office and certified as being clearly unfounded.

Knowing the Home Office was wrong to refuse the application, we sought Judicial Review of the certification and we got permission from the High Court. The Home Office then agreed to withdraw their decision, reconsider the appellant’s case and paid for the legal costs of the Judicial Review.  Having reconsidered the application the Home Office refused it again.

The Home Office did not accept that the appellant enjoyed a family life or that there would be significant obstacles to her integration back in the Philippines. They did not accept that there were any exceptional circumstances sufficient to lead to the grant of leave and argued that Mrs X could pay for someone else to provide the services, once the appellant returned to the Philippines.

We appealed against this decision, arguing that the Home Office failed to give sufficient regard to the rights of private and family life of everybody involved, and in particular the physical and moral integrity interests of Mrs X. The case came to court. The immigration judge found that the appellant had developed a private life in the UK especially with Mrs X since her arrival in the UK and to remove her to the Philippines would interfere with that private life.  However, the interference would be in accordance with the law and therefore proportionate.

When it comes to the strength of the appellant’s private life with Mrs X on the other hand the judge found that the interference would be disproportionate.  We won the case, to everybody’s delight. We believe we won because of the excellent advocacy by Ms Bojana Asanovich, our barrister, and because of the medical-legal reports we provided together with the social worker report who made observations which may be relevant to other people who find themselves in the position of Mrs X, or in the position of the appellant.

It was important to show how the appellant continued to care for Mrs X after her husband died and as her health conditions became chronic.  We demonstrated that in the specific case a replacement carer would not be able to provide the service because there would not be the sufficiently safe relationship between the two of them, and the emotional connection cannot be replaced.  The loving and warm connection between the two women was such that the age of Mrs X together with a number of her health conditions and the close link between the chronic health conditions and level of actual and potential depression convinced the Judge that if the appellant was to be removed there would be a deterioration in Mrs X’s physical and mental health and therefore the decision to remove the appellant would be disproportionate and affect the quality of life of Mrs X.

It was this special close relationship between the two women who spent the majority of their time together that transcended the relationship of employer and employee.