The Employment Team at 9 Gough Square provides specialist expertise covering the range of employment issues acting for claimants and respondents at all levels. The team is aware of the particular issues involved in public authority work and is able to provide a multi-disciplinary approach where employment matters overlap with other areas, including personal injury claims, commercial and business disputes, human rights and health and safety at work.
Disputes between employers and employees are becoming ever more complex. As from the end of 2006 there are six outlawed discrimination strands. The procedural rules are now lengthy and technical. Workplaces and practices are increasingly internationalised, bringing associated jurisdictional issues. In addition, modern working practices frequently create disputes as to the employment status of workers.
Our Employment Team provides specialist expertise covering the range of employment issues and helps you and your clients keep abreast of current developments through newsletters and frequent seminars.
We act for both claimants and respondents.
We advise and represent large and small employers and employees at all levels, whether the dispute involves a family-run business or a multinational.
The Team is aware of the particular issues involved in public authority work, including local authorities, the National Health Service and education. Members are also able to bring to employment work their expertise in other areas, such as commercial and business disputes, human rights and health and safety at work. The experience of many Team members in personal injury claims is of particular assistance in dealing with claims under the DDA and discrimination claims with a personal injury element.
Members of the Team are acutely aware of the frequent need to provide advice quickly in an employment situation. We provide a sensitive and approachable service combined with a firm grasp of the realities of business and litigation.
Representation before Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeals Tribunal as well as in the higher courts is a regular feature of our work. Members also have experience of proceedings before the Certification Officer and Central Arbitration Committee.
Using our practitioners to represent your clients at hearings can often be the most cost effective solution. Our Clerks can provide an early indication of costs at short notice.
In appropriate cases, we undertake work in Courts and Tribunals on a conditional fee basis.
We are able to provide seminars and training on a variety of employment-related topics. Members of the Team contribute to Sweet & Maxwell's Encyclopaedia of Employment Law and sit on the editorial committee of ELA briefing. We also have contributed to the EOC adviser website, and members have sat on the Bar Council Equality & Diversity Committee and the Bar Disciplinary Tribunal.
Examples of work undertaken include:-
- Unfair dismissal
- Transfer of undertakings
- Collective agreements
- Workplace stress and bullying claims
- Breach of contract and unlawful deduction from wages claims
- Commercial agency agreements
- Restraint of trade and confidentiality
- Maternity and parental leave
- National Minimum Wage
The following are examples of interesting cases handled by members of chambers in recent years:-
Anthony Robinson v EHRC (2012) Advised senior officer in claim against Equality and Human Rights Commission for racial discrimination
Chatwal v London Borough of Wandsworth (2011) [EqLR] 942 Appropriate test to be applied in case of indirect discrimination in respect of group disadvantage where particular religious belief not widespread.
Amachree v Wandsworth Council (2010) Successfully defended Wandsworth Council against claims for religious discrimination and unfair dismissal brought by Christian employee who had advised a service user with a terminal illness that she ought to put her faith in God and had later breached client confidentiality.
Eagles v Rugged Systems Limited
UKEATPA/0018/09/ZT (EAT, HHJ McMullen QC, 11.5.09): Claimant in negotiations with employer post-dismissal - ET held this could not ground a reasonable belief that an appeal process was ongoing so as to found extension of time under Reg. 15 of the Dispute Resolution Regs. EAT found that settlement negotiations were procedures in relation to dismissal governed by s. 203 ERtsA 1996. ET erred in focusing on whether or not there was an appeal, had not addressed the question of whether or not the Claimant had reasonable grounds to believe that there was an ongoing procedure relating to her dismissal.
Virdi v Metropolitan Police
(No. 6) ET, 2009: represented Asian police officer claiming discrimination in respect of an application for promotion and victimisation because of his previously widely publicised claims against the force.
V v P Ltd
(Nov. 2008, unrep.) ET: successfully defended respondent company against claims of race and sex discrimination. Respondent awarded maximum sum of £10,000 in costs against claimant whose behaviour was deemed unreasonable.
Ramsay v Bowercross Construction
 All ER (D) 131, EAT: appeal against £10,000 costs order made by ET - definition of a legal representative under r.38 ET Rules & whether Respondent could recover costs relating to work done by an employed non-practising solicitor.
Massey v Unifi  IRLR 902;  ICR 62, CA: appeal on remedy, catastrophic injury (stroke) resulting from stress of unjustifiable discipline contrary to s.64 TULR(C)A 1992, review of basis of compensation including injury to feelings in unjustifiable discipline cases, appellate consideration of decision in Essa v Laing and applicability outside discrimination claims, arguments on foreseeability and causation, consideration of contributory fault.
Sinclair v LB Wandsworth  All ER (D) 67, EAT: unfair dismissal claim, ET erred in law by finding that conduct which resulted from alcoholism could not amount to contributory conduct, case remitted for reconsideration of the degree of contribution.
Massey v Unifi, Certification Officer D62-78/06 (22.12.06): 17 complaints to CO re. alleged breaches of Union rulebook, problems of overlapping jurisdiction with ET/EAT proceedings covering similar ground, CO's jurisdiction and time points. Cited in Harvey at paras. 1432, 3941 & 3987.
Beal & ors. v Buzz Stanstead, ET Oct 2006: multi-handed unfair dismissal and breach of contract claims brought on behalf of a group of airline pilots resulting from TUPE transfer and closure of Ryanair's operation at Stansted Airport.
Hachette Filipacchi UK v Johnson IDS Brief 804 May 2006, EAT: extent of employer's duty of consultation while employee at risk of redundancy when employee had been moved from substantive position to work on a specialist project.
James v MSC Cruises Limited, ET 2006: whether requirement for all employees to undertake Saturday working discriminated against the claimant, a Seventh Day Adventist.
Howard v Millrise Ltd & SG Printers  IRLR 84 (EAT): how to implement the information & consultation requirements under TUPE in a workplace in which no trade union is recognized and there are no existing employee representatives - obligation on employer to initiate election of employee representatives or to supply information directly to employees.
Balpa v KLM & Ryanair, ET 2005: airline pilots' collective action for failure to consult under TUPE.
Rahmeh & Naguib v Joint Committee for Higher Medical Training, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Department of Health  All ER (D) 423, EAT: successfully represented RCOG and JCHMT in determination of whether the system for placing doctors on the specialist register for appointment to consultant posts was discriminatory.
Brook Street Bureau (UK) Limited v Dacas  ICR 1437; IRLR 358, CA: determination of whether an agency worker was an employee for the purposes of her unfair dismissal claim.
British Telecommunications v CWU  IRLR 58 (QBD): anti-strike injunction, whether proposed strike in furtherance of trade dispute & various issues as to validity of ballot.
Massey v Unifi  All ER (D) 11, EAT: liability appeal, unjustifiable discipline by a union (s.64 TULR(C)A 1992), appeal dealing with definitions of discipline and detriment
Hobson v London Borough of Hackney LTL 30/7/02, CA: whether language of a reference was discriminatory.
Hazlehurst v Governors of Warwick Park School  EWCA Civ 2056;  All ER (D) 39, CA: successfully appeal against finding that school governors had racially discriminated against three black school teachers in failing to shortlist them for senior management posts. Examined the basis on which a tribunal can legitimately make a finding of unconscious discrimination.
Virdi v Metropolitan Police Commissioner (remedies hearing December 2000, ET) record award of £150,000 for injury to feelings in this race discrimination case.
Martyres v Connex South Eastern Limited EAT/834/99, 24/5/00: effect of collective bargain on individual contract of employment when an unlawful deduction alleged.
to view our barristers working in the area of Employment and to see details of notable Employment cases undertaken by each barrister.