Melanie Tether

Year of call 1995

CClerk

William Meade
020 7269 0360 Email William

Melanie is a highly experienced employment lawyer and a tenacious advocate. Her practice spans all areas of employment law, both individual and collective. She is regularly instructed in high value claims and has appeared in many test cases, including several references to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Melanie is ranked for employment law by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500, which have praised her for her “courtroom style and masterful handling of witnesses”, her "lethal cross-examination skills", her "superb understanding of discrimination and TUPE issues" and her “mastery of tricky briefs”.

Before transferring to the Bar in 1995, Melanie was a partner in Norton Rose. Her extensive experience as a solicitor in private practice makes her acutely aware of the commercial and practical needs of lay clients.

She is a former Chair and current Vice President of the Industrial Law Society.

Melanie accepts instructions under the Bar's Public Access Scheme.

Melanie's practice embraces all aspects of employment and discrimination law. She has acted for employers and employees in every sector of activity, including the health, education, local government, manufacturing and financial sectors. She has had 29 appearances in the IRLR.

 
  • Successfully represented the appellants in Mustafa and another v. Trek Highway Services Ltd and others UKEAT/0063/15 29 January 2016, a complex appeal concerning the application of TUPE in circumstances where there is a temporary cessation of activity between service contracts.
  • Currently advising a leading trade union on issues arising from the Trade Union Bill 2015.
  • Represented the appellant (led by Michael Ford QC) in Griffiths v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 10 December 2015, in which the Court of Appeal held that the duty to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled employee may require an employer to make adjustments to its attendance management policy;
  • Appeared for the UNISON claimants in Arch Initiatives v. Aulton and others UKEAT/0063/15 21 January 2016, in which Simler P held that the fact that a service is split into separate functional components when the contract is re-tendered does not prevent there being a service provision change.
  • Representing the claimants in Ministry of Defence v. Holloway and others UKEAT/0396/14 28 July 2015, in which the spouses of members of the armed forces posted to Cyprus are complaining that the Ministry of Defence has discriminated against them by employing them on less favourable terms and conditions than those on which it employs Cypriot nationals;
  • Acted for the claimant in Equality and Human Rights Commission v. Earle [2014] IRLR 845, an appeal turning on the construction of a contractual provision relating to salary progression;
  • Appeared for the appellant in Mihaj v. Sodexho Ltd [2014] ICR D25, in which the EAT considered the approach that an employment tribunal should take when considering an application for interim relief by a trade unionist alleging dismissal for taking part in trade union activities;
  • Acted for 1400 UNISON claimants in a major challenge to Fife Council’s job evaluation scheme, which concluded in October 2015 with a multi-million pound settlement;
  • Appeared for the respondent in Royal College of Nursing and others v Real Life Options 17 July 2015, in which the RCN and members of that union were challenging dismissals designed to bring about significant changes in terms and conditions of employment.
  • Represented the claimants in UNISON and others v. (1) Careers South West and (2) Prospects 4 June 2015, in which it was held that TUPE applied when new contractors were appointed to run the National Careers Service in the south-west of England.
  • Acted for the claimants in Mrazek and others v. Equality and Human Rights Commission 8 June 2015, claims concerning the validity of changes in terms and conditions agreed more than a year after a TUPE transfer.
  • Represented a well-known University in relation to internal grievance and disciplinary proceedings involving a senior member of the academic staff.

Melanie's practice embraces all aspects of employment and discrimination law. She has acted for employers and employees in every sector of activity, including the health, education, local government, manufacturing and financial sectors. She has had 29 appearances in the IRLR.

Discrimination
Melanie has appeared in cases involving virtually every strand of discrimination law. Leading cases include:

  • Griffiths v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2015] EWCA 1265  10 December 2015, in which the Court of Appeal held that the duty to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled employee may require an employer to make adjustments to an attendance management policy;
  • Ministry of Defence v. Holloway and others UKEAT/0396/14 28 July 2015: whether the employment tribunal has jurisdiction to entertain complaints of discrimination by the spouses of members of the armed forces who are employed in the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus;
  • British Airways plc v. Mak and others [2011] ICR 735 CA, in which it was held that the age and race discrimination legislation applied to cabin crew who were based in Hong Kong but worked on flights between Hong Kong and the UK;
  • Sunderland City Council v. Brennan and others [2012] ICR 1183: employment tribunal has no jurisdiction to determine claims for contribution under the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978;
  • Webley v. DWP [2005] ICR 577 CA: failure to renew fixed-term contract cannot constitute less favourable treatment under Fixed-Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002;
  • Chief Constable of West Yorkshire v. Khan [2001] ICR 1065 HL: meaning of victimisation;
  • Jones v. Post Office [2001] ICR 805 CA: justification under the DDA.


Equal pay
Melanie has substantial experience of equal pay claims, having appeared in cases involving the public and private sectors, acting for both claimants and respondents. Significant cases include:

  • Drummond and others v. Fife Council: equal pay claims by more than 1400 low paid Council workers in which a multi-million pound settlement was negotiated in October 2015;
  • Loudon and others v. North Lanarkshire Council: a wide-ranging challenge to the Council’s job evaluation scheme and pay protection arrangements which resulted in a substantial settlement;
  • Armstrong and others v. Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust (No 1) [2006] IRLR 124 CA and Armstrong and others v. Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust (No 2) [2010] ICR 674 EAT: the correct approach to the GMF defence in cases involving indirect discrimination in pay;
  • Preston and others v. Wolverhampton Healthcare NHS Trust (No 1) [2001] ICR 217 HL: the part-time pensions claims.


Transfers of undertakings
Melanie is a leading expert on transfers of undertakings and service provision changes.
She has recently appeared in two important TUPE appeals in the Employment Appeal Tribunal: Mustafa and another v. Trek Highway Services Ltd and others UKEAT/0063/15 29 January 2016 (an appeal concerning the effect of a suspension of operations by an outgoing subcontractor) and Arch Initiatives v. Aulton and others UKEAT/0063/15 21 January 2016 (in which the central issue was whether there can be a service provision change if a service is split into separate functional components when the contract is re-tendered).

Melanie represented the claimants in UNISON and others v. Careers South West and another 4 June 2015, in which an employment tribunal decided that TUPE applied when new contractors were appointed to run the National Careers Service in the south-west of England. She also appeared in Mrazek and others v. Equality and Human Rights Commission 8 June 2015, a case involving a challenge to the validity of changes in terms and conditions which had been agreed more than a year after a TUPE transfer.

Melanie’s reported TUPE cases include:

  • De'Antiquis v. Key2Law Surrey LLP [2011] IRLR 272 EAT: application of automatic transfer principle where transferor is in administration;
  • Alamo Group (Europe) Ltd v. Tucker and others [2003] ICR 829: transfer of liability for failure to inform and consult;
  • Ralton and others v. Havering College of Further Education [2001] IRLR 738: test to be applied in deciding whether transfer is reason for dismissal and application of TUPE to fixed-term employees;
  • Kerry Foods Ltd v. Creber and others [2000] IRLR 10: nature of duty to consult where transferor is in receivership.​


Unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and other statutory rights
Melanie has extensive experience of unfair dismissal and whistleblowing claims. She has also acted in disputes concerning other statutory rights, including claims under the Working Time Regulations 1998 and the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999. She successfully defended the respondent in Royal College of Nursing and others v Real Life Options 17 July 2015, in which the RCN and members of that union were challenging dismissals designed to bring about significant changes in terms and conditions of employment. Melanie’s reported cases concerning statutory employment rights include:

  • Ashcroft v. Haberdasher's Aske's Boys School [2008] ICR 613 EAT: time limit for presenting a complaint of unfair dismissal where employee has presented internal appeal;
  • Roberts v. West Coast Trains Ltd [2005] ICR 254 CA: dismissal expunged by successful appeal;
  • ALM Medical Services Ltd v. Bladon [2002] ICR 1444 CA: tribunal failed to consider evidence relevant to a whistleblowing claim;
  • Everson v. Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (C-198/88) [1999] ECR I-8903 ECJ: guaranteed debts in a cross-border insolvency.


Contracts of employment and employee competition
Melanie regularly acts in and advises on disputes involving restrictive covenants, garden leave, wrongful dismissal, contractual bonuses and other contractual issues. She appeared in Equality and Human Rights Commission v. Earle [2014] IRLR 845, in which the issue was whether employees of the EHRC had a contractual right to pay progression which could be enforced notwithstanding the government pay freeze.

 

Labour relations and industrial disputes
Melanie has wide-ranging experience of collective issues, including collective consultation and industrial action. She is currently advising a leading trade union on issues arising from the Trade Union Bill 2015. Melanie has also acted in recognition disputes, including applications to the CAC. Reported cases include:

  • Kelly and another v. Hesley Group Ltd [2013] IRLR 514, an important decision of the EAT on the scope of the duty to consult in relation to collective redundancies;
  • Cooper v. Isle of Wight College [2008] IRLR 124: deductions from pay where an employee has taken part in industrial action​.

Trade union rights

Melanie has substantial experience of claims involving trade union rights. For example she:

  • appeared in Mihaj v. Sodexho Ltd [2014] ICR D25, in which the EAT explained the approach that an employment tribunal should take when considering an application for interim relief by a trade unionist alleging dismissal for taking part in trade union activities;
  • represented the claimant in Kelly v. Equality and Human Rights Commission, a complaint of trade union victimisation which resulted in the highest ever award of compensation for injury to feelings in respect of victimisation on trade union grounds;
  • successfully defended the respondent in Grant v. UNITE, a complaint by a union member that he had been subjected to unjustifiable discipline.

 

Melanie frequently deals with employment disputes that raise questions of public law. She acted for UNISON when Plymouth City Council attempted to withdraw recognition from the union, a dispute which involved very sensitive industrial relations considerations and issues of public law. She also has extensive experience of the legislation governing universities and institutions of further and higher education. (During her career as a solicitor, Melanie was for a number of years legal adviser to the Polytechnics and Colleges Employers’ Forum and to the Association of Colleges).

Melanie is often instructed in employment cases with a pensions element, including claims for enhanced redundancy pay. Notable cases include:

  • Martin v. South Bank University (C-4/01) [2003] ECR I-12859 ECJ: claims relating to early retirement benefits;
     
  • Smith v. South Wales Fire Rescue Service Appeal no CF136/2012 2 May 2013, an appeal to the High Court from a decision of the Pensions Ombudsman on whether certain allowances paid to regular firefighters were pensionable;
     
  • Stevens v. Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Leeds County Court, February 2011: entitlement to sick pay under the Police Regulations 2003.

 

Melanie has represented and advised employers and employees in relation to internal disciplinary proceedings. She recently acted for a well-known university in internal grievance and disciplinary proceedings involving a very senior member of its academic staff.

Melanie has appeared for professional employees in proceedings before professional regulatory bodies, including the Specialist Training Authority and the GMC. She has also dealt with applications for injunctive relief to enforce contractual disciplinary procedures and/or the Department of Health Framework “Maintaining High Professional Standards in the Modern NHS”.


Melanie frequently deals with employment disputes that raise questions of public law. She recently acted for UNISON when Plymouth City Council attempted to withdraw recognition from the union, a dispute which involved very sensitive industrial relations considerations and issues of public law. She also has extensive experience of the legislation governing universities and institutions of further and higher education. (During her career as a solicitor, Melanie was legal adviser to the Polytechnics and Colleges Employers’ Forum and to the Association of Colleges). Recent cases include:

  • Stevens v. Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Leeds County Court, February 2011: entitlement to sick pay under the Police Regulations 2003.

Melanie frequently appears in employment cases with a pensions element, including claims for enhanced redundancy pay. Notable cases include:

  • Martin v. South Bank University(C-4/01) [2003] ECR I-12859 ECJ: claims relating to early retirement benefits;
  • Smith v. South Wales Fire Rescue Service Appeal no CF136/2012 2 May 2013, an appeal to the High Court from a decision of the Pensions Ombudsman on whether certain allowances paid to regular firefighters are pensionable 

Melanie has represented and advised employers and employees in relation to internal disciplinary proceedings. She has also appeared for professional employees in proceedings before professional regulatory bodies, including the Specialist Training Authority and the GMC.

She recently acted for a leading university in internal grievance and disciplinary proceedings involving a senior member of its academic staff.


Melanie is a highly experienced employment lawyer with substantial experience of disciplinary and grievance processes in both the public and private sectors. Melanie has been involved in all stages of such processes: as an investigator, an advocate, an adviser to internal panels and a decision-maker. She recently acted for a well-known university in relation to extremely complex grievance and disciplinary proceedings concerning a senior member of its academic staff. This required her to present the employer’s case to various internal panels, call evidence from the University’s senior managers and advise the HR team on its strategic approach to the process.

Melanie accepts instructions under the Bar’s Public Access Scheme.

  • Griffiths v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

    Griffiths v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2014] EqLR 545 EAT: is the duty to make reasonable adjustments engaged where an employer takes action against a disabled employee...

  • Equality and Human Rights Commission v Earle

    Equality and Human Rights Commission v Earle UKEAT/0011/14 4 June 2014: an appeal concerning the construction of a contractual provision relating to salary progression....

  • Mihaj v Sodexho Ltd

    Mihaj v Sodexho Ltd [2014] ICR D25 EAT: whether the dismissal of a trade union activist can be justified by the way in which trade union activities are carried out....

  • Kelly and another v. Hesley Group Ltd

    Kelly and another v. Hesley Group Ltd [2013] IRLR 514 EAT: the scope of the duty to consult in relation to collective redundancies;...

  • British Airways plc v. Mak and others

    In what circumstances does an employee work 'at an establishment in Great Britain' for the purposes of the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Age Regulations 2006? The UK Supreme...

  • See all cases

     

pAwards

2017 C&P Leading individual 2016 L500 Leading Individual C&P 2016 Ranked Barrister L500 2015 leading individual Chambers & Partners 2015 Barrister Legal 500 Top Ranked Barrister 2014 Ranked in Chambers & Partners 2014 Ranked in Legal 500 2013

Melanie is a highly experienced employment lawyer and a tenacious advocate. Her practice spans all areas of employment law, both individual and collective. She is regularly instructed in high value claims and has appeared in many test cases, including several references to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Melanie is ranked for employment law by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500, which have praised her for her “courtroom style and masterful handling of witnesses”, her "lethal cross-examination skills", her "superb understanding of discrimination and TUPE issues" and her “mastery of tricky briefs”.

Before transferring to the Bar in 1995, Melanie was a partner in Norton Rose. Her extensive experience as a solicitor in private practice makes her acutely aware of the commercial and practical needs of lay clients.

She is a former Chair and current Vice President of the Industrial Law Society.

Melanie accepts instructions under the Bar's Public Access Scheme.

Melanie's practice embraces all aspects of employment and discrimination law. She has acted for employers and employees in every sector of activity, including the health, education, local government, manufacturing and financial sectors. She has had 29 appearances in the IRLR.

 
  • Successfully represented the appellants in Mustafa and another v. Trek Highway Services Ltd and others UKEAT/0063/15 29 January 2016, a complex appeal concerning the application of TUPE in circumstances where there is a temporary cessation of activity between service contracts.
  • Currently advising a leading trade union on issues arising from the Trade Union Bill 2015.
  • Represented the appellant (led by Michael Ford QC) in Griffiths v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 10 December 2015, in which the Court of Appeal held that the duty to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled employee may require an employer to make adjustments to its attendance management policy;
  • Appeared for the UNISON claimants in Arch Initiatives v. Aulton and others UKEAT/0063/15 21 January 2016, in which Simler P held that the fact that a service is split into separate functional components when the contract is re-tendered does not prevent there being a service provision change.
  • Representing the claimants in Ministry of Defence v. Holloway and others UKEAT/0396/14 28 July 2015, in which the spouses of members of the armed forces posted to Cyprus are complaining that the Ministry of Defence has discriminated against them by employing them on less favourable terms and conditions than those on which it employs Cypriot nationals;
  • Acted for the claimant in Equality and Human Rights Commission v. Earle [2014] IRLR 845, an appeal turning on the construction of a contractual provision relating to salary progression;
  • Appeared for the appellant in Mihaj v. Sodexho Ltd [2014] ICR D25, in which the EAT considered the approach that an employment tribunal should take when considering an application for interim relief by a trade unionist alleging dismissal for taking part in trade union activities;
  • Acted for 1400 UNISON claimants in a major challenge to Fife Council’s job evaluation scheme, which concluded in October 2015 with a multi-million pound settlement;
  • Appeared for the respondent in Royal College of Nursing and others v Real Life Options 17 July 2015, in which the RCN and members of that union were challenging dismissals designed to bring about significant changes in terms and conditions of employment.
  • Represented the claimants in UNISON and others v. (1) Careers South West and (2) Prospects 4 June 2015, in which it was held that TUPE applied when new contractors were appointed to run the National Careers Service in the south-west of England.
  • Acted for the claimants in Mrazek and others v. Equality and Human Rights Commission 8 June 2015, claims concerning the validity of changes in terms and conditions agreed more than a year after a TUPE transfer.
  • Represented a well-known University in relation to internal grievance and disciplinary proceedings involving a senior member of the academic staff.

Melanie's practice embraces all aspects of employment and discrimination law. She has acted for employers and employees in every sector of activity, including the health, education, local government, manufacturing and financial sectors. She has had 29 appearances in the IRLR.

Discrimination
Melanie has appeared in cases involving virtually every strand of discrimination law. Leading cases include:

  • Griffiths v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2015] EWCA 1265  10 December 2015, in which the Court of Appeal held that the duty to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled employee may require an employer to make adjustments to an attendance management policy;
  • Ministry of Defence v. Holloway and others UKEAT/0396/14 28 July 2015: whether the employment tribunal has jurisdiction to entertain complaints of discrimination by the spouses of members of the armed forces who are employed in the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus;
  • British Airways plc v. Mak and others [2011] ICR 735 CA, in which it was held that the age and race discrimination legislation applied to cabin crew who were based in Hong Kong but worked on flights between Hong Kong and the UK;
  • Sunderland City Council v. Brennan and others [2012] ICR 1183: employment tribunal has no jurisdiction to determine claims for contribution under the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978;
  • Webley v. DWP [2005] ICR 577 CA: failure to renew fixed-term contract cannot constitute less favourable treatment under Fixed-Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002;
  • Chief Constable of West Yorkshire v. Khan [2001] ICR 1065 HL: meaning of victimisation;
  • Jones v. Post Office [2001] ICR 805 CA: justification under the DDA.


Equal pay
Melanie has substantial experience of equal pay claims, having appeared in cases involving the public and private sectors, acting for both claimants and respondents. Significant cases include:

  • Drummond and others v. Fife Council: equal pay claims by more than 1400 low paid Council workers in which a multi-million pound settlement was negotiated in October 2015;
  • Loudon and others v. North Lanarkshire Council: a wide-ranging challenge to the Council’s job evaluation scheme and pay protection arrangements which resulted in a substantial settlement;
  • Armstrong and others v. Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust (No 1) [2006] IRLR 124 CA and Armstrong and others v. Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust (No 2) [2010] ICR 674 EAT: the correct approach to the GMF defence in cases involving indirect discrimination in pay;
  • Preston and others v. Wolverhampton Healthcare NHS Trust (No 1) [2001] ICR 217 HL: the part-time pensions claims.


Transfers of undertakings
Melanie is a leading expert on transfers of undertakings and service provision changes.
She has recently appeared in two important TUPE appeals in the Employment Appeal Tribunal: Mustafa and another v. Trek Highway Services Ltd and others UKEAT/0063/15 29 January 2016 (an appeal concerning the effect of a suspension of operations by an outgoing subcontractor) and Arch Initiatives v. Aulton and others UKEAT/0063/15 21 January 2016 (in which the central issue was whether there can be a service provision change if a service is split into separate functional components when the contract is re-tendered).

Melanie represented the claimants in UNISON and others v. Careers South West and another 4 June 2015, in which an employment tribunal decided that TUPE applied when new contractors were appointed to run the National Careers Service in the south-west of England. She also appeared in Mrazek and others v. Equality and Human Rights Commission 8 June 2015, a case involving a challenge to the validity of changes in terms and conditions which had been agreed more than a year after a TUPE transfer.

Melanie’s reported TUPE cases include:

  • De'Antiquis v. Key2Law Surrey LLP [2011] IRLR 272 EAT: application of automatic transfer principle where transferor is in administration;
  • Alamo Group (Europe) Ltd v. Tucker and others [2003] ICR 829: transfer of liability for failure to inform and consult;
  • Ralton and others v. Havering College of Further Education [2001] IRLR 738: test to be applied in deciding whether transfer is reason for dismissal and application of TUPE to fixed-term employees;
  • Kerry Foods Ltd v. Creber and others [2000] IRLR 10: nature of duty to consult where transferor is in receivership.​


Unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and other statutory rights
Melanie has extensive experience of unfair dismissal and whistleblowing claims. She has also acted in disputes concerning other statutory rights, including claims under the Working Time Regulations 1998 and the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999. She successfully defended the respondent in Royal College of Nursing and others v Real Life Options 17 July 2015, in which the RCN and members of that union were challenging dismissals designed to bring about significant changes in terms and conditions of employment. Melanie’s reported cases concerning statutory employment rights include:

  • Ashcroft v. Haberdasher's Aske's Boys School [2008] ICR 613 EAT: time limit for presenting a complaint of unfair dismissal where employee has presented internal appeal;
  • Roberts v. West Coast Trains Ltd [2005] ICR 254 CA: dismissal expunged by successful appeal;
  • ALM Medical Services Ltd v. Bladon [2002] ICR 1444 CA: tribunal failed to consider evidence relevant to a whistleblowing claim;
  • Everson v. Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (C-198/88) [1999] ECR I-8903 ECJ: guaranteed debts in a cross-border insolvency.


Contracts of employment and employee competition
Melanie regularly acts in and advises on disputes involving restrictive covenants, garden leave, wrongful dismissal, contractual bonuses and other contractual issues. She appeared in Equality and Human Rights Commission v. Earle [2014] IRLR 845, in which the issue was whether employees of the EHRC had a contractual right to pay progression which could be enforced notwithstanding the government pay freeze.

 

Labour relations and industrial disputes
Melanie has wide-ranging experience of collective issues, including collective consultation and industrial action. She is currently advising a leading trade union on issues arising from the Trade Union Bill 2015. Melanie has also acted in recognition disputes, including applications to the CAC. Reported cases include:

  • Kelly and another v. Hesley Group Ltd [2013] IRLR 514, an important decision of the EAT on the scope of the duty to consult in relation to collective redundancies;
  • Cooper v. Isle of Wight College [2008] IRLR 124: deductions from pay where an employee has taken part in industrial action​.

Trade union rights

Melanie has substantial experience of claims involving trade union rights. For example she:

  • appeared in Mihaj v. Sodexho Ltd [2014] ICR D25, in which the EAT explained the approach that an employment tribunal should take when considering an application for interim relief by a trade unionist alleging dismissal for taking part in trade union activities;
  • represented the claimant in Kelly v. Equality and Human Rights Commission, a complaint of trade union victimisation which resulted in the highest ever award of compensation for injury to feelings in respect of victimisation on trade union grounds;
  • successfully defended the respondent in Grant v. UNITE, a complaint by a union member that he had been subjected to unjustifiable discipline.

 

Melanie frequently deals with employment disputes that raise questions of public law. She acted for UNISON when Plymouth City Council attempted to withdraw recognition from the union, a dispute which involved very sensitive industrial relations considerations and issues of public law. She also has extensive experience of the legislation governing universities and institutions of further and higher education. (During her career as a solicitor, Melanie was for a number of years legal adviser to the Polytechnics and Colleges Employers’ Forum and to the Association of Colleges).

Melanie is often instructed in employment cases with a pensions element, including claims for enhanced redundancy pay. Notable cases include:

  • Martin v. South Bank University (C-4/01) [2003] ECR I-12859 ECJ: claims relating to early retirement benefits;
     
  • Smith v. South Wales Fire Rescue Service Appeal no CF136/2012 2 May 2013, an appeal to the High Court from a decision of the Pensions Ombudsman on whether certain allowances paid to regular firefighters were pensionable;
     
  • Stevens v. Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Leeds County Court, February 2011: entitlement to sick pay under the Police Regulations 2003.

 

Melanie has represented and advised employers and employees in relation to internal disciplinary proceedings. She recently acted for a well-known university in internal grievance and disciplinary proceedings involving a very senior member of its academic staff.

Melanie has appeared for professional employees in proceedings before professional regulatory bodies, including the Specialist Training Authority and the GMC. She has also dealt with applications for injunctive relief to enforce contractual disciplinary procedures and/or the Department of Health Framework “Maintaining High Professional Standards in the Modern NHS”.


Melanie frequently deals with employment disputes that raise questions of public law. She recently acted for UNISON when Plymouth City Council attempted to withdraw recognition from the union, a dispute which involved very sensitive industrial relations considerations and issues of public law. She also has extensive experience of the legislation governing universities and institutions of further and higher education. (During her career as a solicitor, Melanie was legal adviser to the Polytechnics and Colleges Employers’ Forum and to the Association of Colleges). Recent cases include:

  • Stevens v. Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Leeds County Court, February 2011: entitlement to sick pay under the Police Regulations 2003.

Melanie frequently appears in employment cases with a pensions element, including claims for enhanced redundancy pay. Notable cases include:

  • Martin v. South Bank University(C-4/01) [2003] ECR I-12859 ECJ: claims relating to early retirement benefits;
  • Smith v. South Wales Fire Rescue Service Appeal no CF136/2012 2 May 2013, an appeal to the High Court from a decision of the Pensions Ombudsman on whether certain allowances paid to regular firefighters are pensionable 

Melanie has represented and advised employers and employees in relation to internal disciplinary proceedings. She has also appeared for professional employees in proceedings before professional regulatory bodies, including the Specialist Training Authority and the GMC.

She recently acted for a leading university in internal grievance and disciplinary proceedings involving a senior member of its academic staff.


Melanie is a highly experienced employment lawyer with substantial experience of disciplinary and grievance processes in both the public and private sectors. Melanie has been involved in all stages of such processes: as an investigator, an advocate, an adviser to internal panels and a decision-maker. She recently acted for a well-known university in relation to extremely complex grievance and disciplinary proceedings concerning a senior member of its academic staff. This required her to present the employer’s case to various internal panels, call evidence from the University’s senior managers and advise the HR team on its strategic approach to the process.

Melanie accepts instructions under the Bar’s Public Access Scheme.

  • Griffiths v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

    Griffiths v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2014] EqLR 545 EAT: is the duty to make reasonable adjustments engaged where an employer takes action against a disabled employee...

  • Equality and Human Rights Commission v Earle

    Equality and Human Rights Commission v Earle UKEAT/0011/14 4 June 2014: an appeal concerning the construction of a contractual provision relating to salary progression....

  • Mihaj v Sodexho Ltd

    Mihaj v Sodexho Ltd [2014] ICR D25 EAT: whether the dismissal of a trade union activist can be justified by the way in which trade union activities are carried out....

  • Kelly and another v. Hesley Group Ltd

    Kelly and another v. Hesley Group Ltd [2013] IRLR 514 EAT: the scope of the duty to consult in relation to collective redundancies;...

  • British Airways plc v. Mak and others

    In what circumstances does an employee work 'at an establishment in Great Britain' for the purposes of the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Age Regulations 2006? The UK Supreme...

  • See all cases

     

pAwards

2017 C&P Leading individual 2016 L500 Leading Individual C&P 2016 Ranked Barrister L500 2015 leading individual Chambers & Partners 2015 Barrister Legal 500 Top Ranked Barrister 2014 Ranked in Chambers & Partners 2014 Ranked in Legal 500 2013
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