Have an employment question? Ask our experts

Workingmums.co.uk wants to introduce our latest employment experts and give some examples of the issues they can help you with.  

Employment Law book with legal gavel - employment lawyers

 

Workingmums.co.uk has been partnering for several years with employment lawyers to answer our readers’ questions. 

Our expert panel is comprised of a series of professionals in different fields related to work, including career coaches, flexible working specialist and employment lawyers. 

Sometimes googling certain issues isn’t enough, as they might be very specific to an individual’s situation. By sending a question to one of our experts not only will we provide a tailored answer to your circumstances, but we also hope that it will give you more peace of mind. 

Whenever we receive a query, the editorial team will review it and send it over to the best suited expert who will answer it in detail. Then, we will hide any personal details to protect the reader’s anonymity and the answer will be posted on the Q&A page, in the hope of helping anyone else in a similar position. 

Introducing the new experts 

A new group of employment lawyers has recently joined workingmums.co.uk and is now ready to answer any of your legal questions. 

They have different backgrounds and interests in various areas of expertise, but ultimately, their goal is to help and empower you in understanding your legal rights in a working environment. 

Marie Horner is a partner and experienced employment law solicitor at Langleys Solicitors in York, as well as being Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development qualified in HR management. 

Gemma Bailey is the Head of Howells’ Employment Department, advising on the full range of employment issues, has a particular interest in complex disputes and is regularly instructed to support in tribunal litigation. 

Two employment lawyers from Kingsley Napley LLP have also joined the experts’ team. Moira Campbell represents and advises individuals and employers on all areas of contentious and non-contentious employment law, including complex discrimination, whistleblowing and harassment claims and redundancy situations. Natasha Forman, who comments regularly in the media on employment-related issues, acts for both employers and employees in a wide variety of sectors including financial services, law firms and other professional services firms, as well as luxury brands.

Charlotte Farrell and Tabytha Cunningham are Associate Solicitors at Paris Smith and have been job sharing since 2017. They provide advice to clients on a wide range of HR- and employment-related matters, from flexible working requests and performance management to employment contracts and restrictive covenant issues. Charlotte and Tabytha also represent employees and employers in Employment Tribunal claims and advise on immigration issues.

Sophie Wahba is a solicitor in the employment law team at Wright Hassall. Sophie advises both individuals and businesses on a range of contentious and non-contentious employment law issues.

Some examples of questions asked 

Workingmums.co.uk has received many different questions over the years and here are some samples of the questions our experts can help you with. 

A topic often discussed is pregnancy and maternity leave. One of the questions asked recently was on the rights regarding holidays when on maternity leave. Charlotte Farrell and Tabytha Cunningham explain that you still “continue to accrue annual leave whilst on maternity leave,” and that “annual leave cannot be taken during maternity leave and therefore your employer must allow you to take your full holiday entitlement outside of the maternity leave period”.

Others are related to the intricacies of redundancy and the employee’s rights. A reader asked whether they will lose redundancy if they keep working. They were made redundant a couple of years ago and their contract ended, but they agreed with their line manager that they would be made permanent and still get their redundancy as part of their terms. 

In this case, Tracey Guest recommended “to make it clear to your employer that you are working under protest and that you do not accept the new terms without the promised redundancy package. This would reduce any risk of you being deemed to have agreed to be made permanent without the redundancy package”.

Another area where workingmums.co.uk experts have given advice is regarding employers wanting to increase their  contractual hours. A worker furloughed in April 2020 was told that when she returned from furlough she had to do 9-5pm with no alternative, despite having worked for 11 years full time but with a split shift to collect her daughter who has health issues.

However, Guest highlights that “the general common law contract position that a contract may only be amended in accordance with its terms or with the agreement of all parties also applies to employment contracts”.

This means that “your employer was therefore not in a position to change your hours to 9am – 5pm if they had no contractual right to do so or without your agreement. As you have been dismissed for refusing to agree to the proposed changes, you may have possible claims for unfair and wrongful dismissal. Due to your daughter’s condition, it may also be possible to have an additional claim of associative discrimination.”

*These are only a few of many issues the experts are able to help with. If you have a question relating to employment law email info@workingmums.co.uk with an outline of the issue and we will get back to you. 





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