Employment and Equalities
Caroline is regularly instructed to advise on and appear in Employment Tribunal proceedings. Her cases range from preliminary hearings to substantive multi-day trials, representing the full spectrum of the labour market – from cleaners to hedge fund employees; care home providers to public authority employers. Caroline’s meticulous attention to detail ensures she is always fully conversant with the finer details of her client’s work environment, of particular assistance in relation to industries which are heavily regulated or more technical in nature.
Caroline has also advised on the merits of appealing decisions to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
Caroline has experience of:
- unfair dismissal – including constructive unfair dismissal, gross misconduct and the reasonableness of selection criteria for redundancy
- the definition of an ‘employee’
- unlawful deduction of wages (including bonus schemes)
- breach of contract claims
- public interest disclosures relating to health and safety
- all forms of discrimination claims, including indirect discrimination
- Equal Pay Act claims
Cases of interest include:
- Acting on behalf of the UK Border Agency in successfully defending a claim for discrimination ‘arising from disability’ brought under the novel provisions of section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 (consideration of the necessary causal link between the impugned conduct and the disability relied upon)
- Successfully arguing that a school groundsman who had accounted for his own tax and national insurance for over 20 years, had a considerable degree of autonomy in the manner in which work was completed and undertook similar jobs elsewhere as a contractor was nonetheless an ‘employee’ for the purposes of an unfair dismissal claim
- Advising as to whether a Civil Service injury benefit scheme (Ministry of Defence) was indirectly discriminatory on the grounds of age
- Advising whether termination of employment in order to prevent a local authority employee accessing his pension amounted to age discrimination
- Persuading a Tribunal that despite technical difficulties with its website having prevented a prison governor from submitting his claim online on the final day of the limitation period, it was nevertheless reasonably practicable for him to have presented his claim in time (consideration of new procedural Rules and the validity of incorrectly submitted applications)
Caroline represents both Claimants and Respondents, providing valuable insight into the complexities of the workplace environment and the underlying sociological factors which drive and shape employment litigation. She is alert to the commercial realities which often call for the pragmatic resolution of a case.