Women’s Employment Rights

Whilst huge progress has been made to level the playing field between men and women in the workplace, sadly there are still many challenges that women face every day in the working environment. This can range from being paid less than male comparators, to sexual harassment in the workplace.

Our women’s employment rights service provides women with advice and assistance on their rights, how to protect their positions and, if necessary, enforce their legal rights.

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?

Our specialist team is run by women who fully understand the difficulties faced by women in the workplace. We can provide support and assistance in all situations involving unfair treatment at work such as:

Our services range from:

  • Providing you with advice about your rights so you know where you stand and what your options are;
  • Advising on communications you have had from your employer, and helping you prepare responses to them;
  • Writing to your employer on your behalf;
  • Guiding you through the grievance process - Grievance Advice;
  • Assisting you with claims in the Employment Tribunal to enforce your rights for example in relation to equal pay, sex discrimination, sexual harassment and pregnancy and maternity rights.

We offer an initial fixed fee meeting and can provide you with a clear estimate of our charges for providing further assistance that may be required. Our team pride themselves on being friendly and approachable, and will provide empathetic, definitive advice and empower you to take action.


Feedback for our team

Joanna’s advice throughout my case was excellent and ultimately led to a resolution with my former employer I felt very happy with. I was 3 months post partum when I first reached out to Joanna, which is a sensitive time for any new mum regardless of work issues on top, and I felt the approach Joanna took with me and my case was pitched at exactly the right level of empathetic support and legal counsel.

It gave me the confidence to address ongoing issues with my former employer which let to a financial settlement I was very pleased with.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have been working for your current employer for at least 26 continuous weeks you can make a request for flexible working for any reason. This could be a change to the hours, days or times that you work, or the place where you do your work. You can only make one flexible working request in any 12-month period.

Once you have made a flexible working request your employer can only refuse it in certain circumstances such as that they will not be able to reorganise your work so it is completed by other staff at times you are not working, if it would have a detrimental impact on the services they provide to clients or customers or if there is not enough work available for you to do at the times you want to work.

If your employer doesn’t deal with your request properly or refuses it for an improper reason you may be able to make an Employment Tribunal claim against them.

We can help prepare a flexible working request on your behalf, advise on the decision process your employer is required to undertake and, if the request is unsuccessful we can let you know whether there are grounds to complain to an Employment Tribunal, or the other options that may be available to you.

Equal Pay is the principle that everyone should receive equal pay for equal work. Most commonly it arises where men are paid more than women for doing equivalent work.

The right to equal pay applies to all workers, including those in part time, casual or temporary work. Not only must pay be equivalent, but also all other terms of employment such as pensions and other benefits.

You are entitled to equal pay if you are doing the same work as someone else or the work is considered to be equivalent. An example that has been considered by Courts and Employment Tribunals in recent years is supermarket workers where those working on checkouts have been deemed to be doing equivalent work to those working in the warehouses, and so should be paid the same.

To make an equal pay claim you will need to find another person, called a ‘comparator’ who is being paid more than you for equivalent work. Usually this person will be the opposite sex.

If you think that you are being paid unequally you can take action to enforce your rights. Claims of this nature are complex and it is important to take specialist advice at an early stage.

If you feel able to, and it is safe, then you should tell the harasser to stop. However, this is not always possible or appropriate. If so then you should speak to your manager or your HR team.

Whilst it will probably be upsetting to do so, it is a good idea to write down what has been happening with dates and times so that you can refer back to it if necessary. You should also keep copies of any other evidence you might have such as emails, text messages, photos or videos.

Your employer has a duty to provide you with a safe place of work and so if they do not act upon you raising your concerns with them informally you could raise a grievance.

If this does not resolve the situation then you can bring a claim against the harasser as well as your employer. We understand how difficult it can be to take this step and we can provide you with sensitive expert advice and empower you to take action so that the harassment stops.

Short answer, no! If your employment is terminated just because you are pregnant then this will be classed as automatically unfair dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy discrimination. You can bring this sort of claim regardless of how long you have been working for your employer.

However, your employment can be terminated when you are pregnant if your employer has a fair reason for doing so which is not connected to your pregnancy, such as a genuine redundancy or because you have committed serious misconduct.

If you are concerned about how you are being treated by your employer because you are pregnant, we can provide expert advice to you about your rights and the action that you can take. We have successfully represented many employees who have sadly been discriminated against because of their pregnancy or maternity leave and recovered substantial sums of compensation for them.

If you feel too unwell to work then you can take time off sick. However, you should consider speaking with your employer so that they are aware how you are feeling as they may be able to make reasonable adjustments to your workplace to help you manage your menopause symptoms and allow you to continue working. This might include flexible working, wearing a different uniform, working in a cooler part of the building or being provided with a fan.

They might also have a menopause policy which could allow you to have paid time off work when your symptoms are at their worst. It might also provide details of further support that could be available to you that you might not be aware of.

If you are unsure about your rights at work when going through the menopause we can provide you with specialist advice to ensure that you are being treated fairly.