We are employment law specialists with an excellent rate of success. We act for employees and senior executives in high profile and complex employment law claims and specialise in discrimination, whistleblowing and bullying and harassment claims.
We have huge experience in unfair dismissal claims and advise and represent clients in disciplinary, grievance and capability procedures, redundancies, complex equal pay issues and restrictive covenants.
Our specialist employment lawyers have worked on high profile employment law claims and have a reputation for delivering results. We provide quick, practical advice in sensitive and time-pressured situations.
We have advised employees from large banks and financial institutions and fought hard to achieve an excellent settlement or outstanding victory in numerous Employment Tribunal claims.
If you are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, it is important to ensure your regulated status is maintained. We have experience in protecting employees reputations.
In some cases it may be necessary to apply for an injunction in the High Court, particularly if the consequences of an unfair dismissal will leave you with damage to your reputation and investments.
The main financial institutions in Canary Wharf are HSBC, Barclays, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse AG, Lloyds Bank, Citigroup Inc, BBVA, Santander, Halifax plc, ANZ Bank, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and State Street Bank and Trust. There is a useful guide to the main financial institutions here: Canary Wharf Offices
The Equality Act 2010 is the key piece of legislation dealing with discrimination at work.
The Equality Act provides protection for employees in every part of employment: recruitment, training, lack of promotion, dismissal, differences in pay and unfavourable treatment in the workplace.
The Act protects against discrimination on the basis of a “protected characteristic”: sex, race, nationality, disability, pregnancy and maternity, age, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, religion and belief.
There are several different forms of discrimination:
- Direct discrimination;
- Indirect discrimination;
- Discrimination arising from disability;
- Harassment; and
There is also a duty to make reasonable adjustments where an employee suffers from a disability. This is a powerful right for employees.
Making discrimination claims
Most discrimination claims need to be filed within three months less one day from the date that the discrimination occurred (minus any ACAS conciliation period). However, if discrimination is ongoing the time period will run from the last discriminatory act.
No minimum length of service is required when making a discrimination claim.
The Employment Rights Act 1996 (“ERA 1996”) protects anyone who has made a ‘protected disclosure’ from being dismissed or suffering any “detriment” as a result of that disclosure. This protection exists from the first day of employment.
A “disclosure” is defined very widely as “any disclosure of information” (see ERA 1996, s43B(1)). However, an allegation not supported by any information is not a disclosure.
A protected disclosure must fall into one of the following categories (ERA 2996, s43B(1)(a) to (f)) :
The whistleblower must reasonably believe that wrongdoing has occurred or is likely to occur. However,
- It is not necessary for the information itself to be actually true, as long as the whistleblower reasonably believes it;
- In a case where the individual is disclosing information that he or she has received from elsewhere (which is not within his or her direct knowledge) it is not necessary for that individual to have a positive belief in its truth.
A disclosure of information will take place where the information is provided to a person who is already aware of that information (ERA 1996, s43L).
It is also important that the disclosure is made to the right person i.e. to a ‘prescribed person.’ Usually, this will be the employer, but the ERA allows employees to report to other bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive. Before making the disclosure it is wise for an employee to check that a protected disclosure is going to be made and it is going to be made to the right person.
If a disclosure is not made in “good faith” ‘the tribunal may, if it considers it just and equitable in all the circumstances to do so, reduce any award it makes to the worker by no more than 25%’.
Are there time limits? Yes, the claim should be brought to an Employment Tribunal within three months less one day of the detriment suffered (plus ACAS conciliation period). Where the conduct is ongoing the time limit runs from the last day of the conduct. If the worker was dismissed, it runs from the last day of employment.
Injunction for breach of disciplinary procedure
A more effective remedy than damages where an employer fails to follow a contractual disciplinary procedure is to seek an injunction to restrain the breach of contract – in other words stop a disciplinary process that is not in keeping with the contract of employment.
For example, an injunction has been granted to prevent the holding of a disciplinary hearing where there was no justification for invoking the national procedure for dealing with allegations against clinical staff of professional misconduct (Mezey v South West London & St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust).
An injunction has been granted to reinstate a university professor suspended pending a disciplinary hearing (Watson v University of Durham).
The availability of an injunction to stop the continuation of a disciplinary process in breach of contract now been confirmed by the Supreme Court in West London Mental Health NHS Trust v Chhabra.
In Stevens v University of Birmingham an injunction was granted restraining disciplinary proceedings against a medical professor where the University had refused a request for legal representation where such a refusal amounted to a breach of the duty not to undermine trust and confidence.
It is essential to act very quickly to seek an injunction.
Contact us for an informal discussion :
Telephone: 0208 263 6080
Location: 30th floor, 40 Bank St, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5NR.