Helen is regularly instructed in complex discrimination, equal pay and PIDA (whistleblowing) claims. Her practice also includes unfair and wrongful dismissal, TUPE, maternity and paternity rights, victimisation on the ground of trade union activities, failure to consult on collective redundancies and TUPE, working time, deductions, negligence claims relating to employment issues, contractual disputes and deductions claims.
Helen represents Claimants including Claimants supported by their trade union, and a wide range of Respondents including local authorities, police authorities, educational institutions, health service bodies, and commercial and financial organisations.
Helen has experience of a huge range of discrimination claims. This includes handling claims where there is a long history of attrition between employer and employee. For example, she represented a local authority Respondent in a disability discrimination claim which included more than forty different allegations of disability discrimination which were alleged to have occurred over more than three years. Helen has also represented a GP practice in defending a claim for discrimination because of religion. Helen is particularly interested in discrimination cases exploring the relationship between UK law and EC law. This was one of the important themes in Rhys-Harper v Relaxion where Helen represented Ms Rhys-Harper throughout the appeal process up to the Supreme Court.
Helen also has experience in claims for discrimination on grounds of trade union activities and blacklisting.
In equal pay cases, Helen undertakes drafting, advisory and advocacy work including multi-party claims. She has been instructed in several claims involving local authorities. The issues in these cases include compliance with the grievance procedure, identification of comparators and possible use of a hypothetical comparator, whether “Agenda for Change” (a job evaluation scheme in the NHS is discriminatory). Helen has represented claimants in cases relating to the material factor defence such as the investigation of different types of bonus, whether the particular bonus can be justified on the ground of productivity benefits for an employer and whether the extent of the differential in pay is proportionate.
Helen represents Claimants and Respondents in protected disclosure (whistleblowing) claims. The subject matter is very broad including a claim relating to safety in motorway maintenance and a claim raising alleged accounting fraud.
In TUPE cases, Helen has experience of representing Respondents and Claimants in multi-party claims. She recently represented a group of print workers in a claim that included issues of whether there was a TUPE transfer, whether dismissal was transfer related, special circumstances defence, failure to consult on redundancy and failure to consult on TUPE. Helen also represented the successful Claimants in the failure to consult on redundancy claim of Leicestershire v Unison where Leicestershire terminated contracts and offered new contracts of employment.
Helen advises and represents parties in employment-related disputes in the County Court and the High Courts. She successfully defended a trade union in a claim relating to alleged negligent advice relating to an employment matter.
Helen has been appointed as lawyer for the Independent Review Board of a political party. The role involves the review of decisions relating to disciplinary decisions taken by the party involving protected characteristics.
Helen is a member of ILS, ELA and ELBA. She undertakes pro bono work through the EAT ELAAS scheme.