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Naomi Cunningham has specialised in employment and discrimination law throughout her career. She acts for a mix of public and private sector employers, large and small, and individual employees and trade unions, giving her an overview of both sides’ priorities and tactics.
Naomi accepts instructions in goods and services discrimination as well as in the full range of employment matters. She places an emphasis on demystifying the employment tribunal process for clients with prompt, clear and practical advice.
She has particular interests in whistleblowing, working time, holiday pay and the minimum wage, and has experience on both sides in interim relief applications. She has been instructed in a number of multi-claimant equal pay cases, including (as first junior to Andrew Short QC) the ongoing mass equal pay claim against Asda described by the BBC as ‘Made in Dagenham for the 21st Century‘.
Naomi writes a popular and practical guide to employment tribunal proceedings, Employment Tribunal Claims: tactics and precedents, now in its 4th edition.
Several reviewers describe the book as essential, and a review in the ELA Briefing adds “Every employment lawyer (including the tribunal judiciary) will learn something of value from reading this book.”
Employment & Discrimination
NHS Leeds v Larner EAT 29/6/2011
Whether an employee on long-term sick leave must take steps to exercise her right to annual leave in order to be entitled to holiday pay.
Hussain v Acorn Independent College Ltd  I.R.L.R. 463, EAT
Temporary cessation of work; whether temporary cover provided by a teacher counted towards his continuous service.
Compass Group Plc v Ayodele, EAT 14 July 2011
The scope of an employer’s obligation to consider a request not to retire.
Hamilton & ors v NHS Grampian EAT (Scotland) 20 July 2011 (judgment awaited)
Whether section 11 of the ERA can be used to determine the existence of an implied term; determination on a point of law without hearing evidence; costs.
St Andrew’s Catholic Primary School v Blundell  EWCA Civ 427
New evidence on appeal; application of rule in Ladd v Marshall.
Vickers v London Fire and Emergency Planning  EWHC 1855 (QB)
Meaning of ‘unable to drive for genuine reasons’ in firefighters’ contract.
Blundell v Governing Body of St Andrew’s Catholic Primary School  ICR 1451, EAT
The first appeal case on the definition of the ‘job’ to which a woman has the right to return following maternity leave.
Moyhing v Barts & the London NHS Trust  IRLR 860, EAT
Sex discrimination against a male student nurse (funded by the EOC).
Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd v Griffiths-Henry  IRLR 865, EAT
The burden of proof in discrimination cases.
Comfort v Department for Constitutional Affairs (2006) (ET); (2005) (EAT);  EWCA Civ 349 (CA)
Constructive dismissal case remitted by the CA for re-hearing after the original ET failed to deal with allegation of perjury by a senior civil servant giving evidence for the Respondent. The second appeal to the EAT concerned disclosure of the Respondent’s notes of evidence from the previous hearing.
Gdynia America Shipping Lines (London) Ltd v Chelminski  ICR 1523, CA
Time for appealing an employment tribunal decision.
Kwamin v Abbey National plc  ICR 841, EAT
Delay in promulgation of ET decisions, Article 6.
Addison & Addison v Ashby  ICR 667
Whether child workers entitled under the Working Time Regulations to paid annual leave.
Appointments & Memberships
- Employment Law Bar Association
- Employment Lawyers’ Association
- Discrimination Law Association
- Trustee of the Anti-Trafficking & Labour Exploitation Unit
Areas of Law
“Very good. Steady and persistent.” Employment, Chambers & Partners 2018
“She will always go the extra mile.” Employment, Chambers & Partners 2018
“She has assiduous attention to detail and flawless knowledge.” Employment, Legal 500 2017
“She always makes clients feel at ease and explains things in a very clear way – she is very practical and pragmatic in her advice.” Employment, Chambers & Partners 2017
“She has rare expertise in interim relief applications in union detriment cases.” Employment, Chambers & Partners 2017
“Extremely thorough and professional, as well as personable and approachable with clients.” Employment, Legal 500 2016
“Very responsive and always willing to go the extra mile.” Employment, Legal 500 2015
“She has a very good bedside manner and is able to explan things to clients in a manner that allays their fears.” Employment, Chambers & Partners 2014
“A very effective practitioner.” Employment, Legal 500 2014
“Great depth of intellect and refuses to just accept the obvious interpretation of a piece of legislation.” Employment, Chambers & Partners 2010