- Harrogate, Newcastle
- 0191 230 6054
James joined Hempsons in March 2014. He qualified as a solicitor in 2003 and as a solicitor advocate in 2004.
James acts for employer clients on a wide range of Employment Tribunal claims including unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing. As a solicitor advocate, James has represented clients on a number of substantial, complex and lengthy hearings at tribunals throughout the country.
James also provides training such as bespoke one-off courses and seminars on a range of matters.
Main areas of expertise
- Unfair dismissal
- Trade union and collective consultation
- TUPE, restructures and reorganisations
The clients he works with
- NHS foundation trusts
- Clinical commissioning groups
- GPs and dentists
- Charities and third sector organisations
The EAT has considered whether a failure to tackle discrimination (in this case, harassment) can itself be an act of discrimination in the case of Unite the Union v Nailard.
The Court of Appeal has decided that Health Education England may yet be liable for whistleblowing claims brought by junior doctors, in the high profile case of Day v Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust & Health Education England (2017).
Dress codes and religious clothing have been considered by the European Court of Justice (CJEU) in two cases recently and unfortunately their guidance is not as clear as it could be. The French case of Achbita v G4S Secure Solutions was reported as supporting a ban on headscarves but the actual outcome was slightly more complicated than that. The Belgian case of Bougnaoui v Micropole SA reached a slightly different decision, refusing to uphold a ban, but the case emphasised just how hard it can be to enforce a supposedly neutral dress code.
Welcome to the Summer edition of the Hempsons’ Employment Newsbrief, a round-up of some of the hot legal topics in the Employment sector.
The case of Gallop v Newport City Council has returned to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) recently for further consideration of the extent to which an employer can rely upon an Occupational Health report when deciding if an employee is a disabled person.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has revisited the issue of how far HR advisors can go in assisting a disciplinary investigation in the case of Dronsfield v University of Reading (2016).
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has today announced that enforcement in relation to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for sleep-in shifts in the social care sector will be temporarily suspended.
Would it be fair to dismiss an employee if they had failed to disclose a relationship with a person convicted of serious criminal offence (even if this was not necessarily a breach of an express term of the employee’s contract)? This question was addressed by the Supreme Court in the case of Reilly v Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council (2018) UKSC 16. The Supreme Court also considered the standard approach to the reasonableness of a dismissal, the Burchell test.
On 26 July 2017, HM Revenue and Customs (‘HMRC’) suspended enforcement action against employers in the social care sector in relation to the National Minimum Wage (‘NMW’)/National Living Wage (‘NLW’). This decision followed on from the decision in the Mencap case (Focus Care Agency Limited v Roberts, Frudd v The Partington Group Limited, and Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson Blake, 2017). The decision that a care worker could be “working” whilst asleep highlighted a significant liability in the care sector, where workers traditionally have been paid a fixed sleep-in allowance, and were often paid below the NMW/NLW.
Many employers choose to calculate holiday pay for their zero hours workers as 12.07% of their normal pay. A recent decision by the Employment Appeal Tribunal, Brazel -v- The Harpur Trust (2018), may lead to some employers rethinking this.