Insights / News
Insights / News
Barristers Andrew Allen KC and Naomi Cunningham, who both specialise in Employment & Discrimination, spoke at the recent ‘Sex and Gender in the Workplace Seminar’. This event provided advice for both employers and employees on how to approach the current gender critical debate in the workplace by focussing on recent case law and the practical measures that employers can or must do.
Andrew Allen KC, joining remotely, opened the event with a short tour of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the Equality Act 2010, referring to the leading case on whether a belief qualifies for protection; Grainger plc v Nicholson  ICR 715, EAT. He discusses equal opportunities policies and the rise of the interchangeable use of the words sex and gender, and the pitfalls with this.
He then follows this introduction by discussing five case studies:
Naomi Cunningham then goes on to talk about sex and gender ‘elephant traps’ for employers and how to avoid them. What is the law and what is perceived to be the law? She discusses social media policies, the fear by employers of being seen to be unsupportive and the employee work/life privacy balance. Naomi further analyses the above case studies in the context of what employers could have done to avoid or resolve the issues involved.
The talks were followed by a Q&A session.
Please see the conference slides here.
You can view the recording of the talk here:
Andrew Allen KC has a successful employment and discrimination practice encompassing TUPE, contractual disputes, discrimination – including within partnerships, equal pay, restrictive covenants, unfair dismissal, redundancy, working time, minimum wage, breach of contract, parental and carer’s rights, remuneration and bonuses.
Andrew has been sitting as a fee paid Employment Judge since 2011. He was assigned as a fee paid Immigration Judge in 2017 and he was appointed as a Recorder in the Crown Court in 2018. Andrew was appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown in 2017.
Andrew is the co-author of Employment Law and the Human Rights Act 1998 and writes the chapters on Qualification and Compensation for Unfair Dismissal in Tolley’s Employment Law Loose-leaf.
Naomi Cunningham has specialised in employment and discrimination law throughout her career, accepting instructions in goods and services discrimination as well as in the full range of employment matters.
In recent years, Naomi has developed a particular interest in gender reassignment discrimination, the interaction between the Equality Act and the Gender Recognition Act, the single-sex exceptions in the Equality Act and public sector equality duty. She gave evidence to the Women and Equalities Select Committee on reform of the GRA in February 2021, and to the Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament in June 2022.
Naomi has written a popular and practical guide to employment tribunal proceedings, Employment Tribunal Claims: tactics and precedents, now in its 4th edition (2nd-4th editions co-authored by Michael Reed). A review in the ELA Briefing said “Every employment lawyer (including the tribunal judiciary) will learn something of value from reading this book.”