Stefan is regularly instructed on multi-day hearings including complex discrimination, whistleblowing and constructive dismissal claims. As well as acting for claimants, his employer client base includes supermarket chains, transport authorities, logistics and distribution businesses, banks, local authorities and schools. He understands the particular needs and challenges faced by clients in different sectors of the economy.
Stefan has particular experience of cases where employee or worker status has been disputed, with notable successes for claimants including:
- Crawford v Image IT: a graphic designer who worked under a ‘casual worker’ contract was found to have employee status.
- AB v Albemarle Club: a ‘hostess’ who worked for a private members’ club claimed to have suffered detriments for attempting to organise her colleagues to join a union. The claim challenged the traditional ‘self-employed’ status of workers in the adult entertainment industry. It was settled after the Respondent’s application to strike out the claim failed. Stefan also successfully sought an order under rule 50 of the Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure to protect the Claimant’s anonymity.
- Patel v The Gym: a gym instructor was found to have ‘employee’ status under the Equality Act, even though the contract described him as self-employed and he negotiated and received payments directly from gym users. Click here to read more.
His recent experience of acting for respondents includes:
- Curran v Network Rail Infrastructure: unsuccessful breach of contract claim in the County Court, where the Claimant had not received performance reviews (and the corresponding opportunity to receive a pay rise) for several years. The issues included terms implied by custom & practice, the extent of employers’ contractual obligations when handling grievances, and causation of loss.
- Ayub v DHL Aviation (UK): Stefan successfully defended the Respondent from claims of race discrimination, victimisation and part-time worker discrimination.
- Greenfield v London Underground: claim for disability discrimination and unfair dismissal which raised difficult issues over the correct legal and medical approach where there is a combination of persistent short-term absenteeism and long-term underlying illness, none of which is the employee’s fault. All claims were dismissed.
- Hipkin v Sainsbury’s Supermarkets: a five-day hearing of claims of unfair dismissal, victimisation, failure to make reasonable adjustments, direct disability discrimination and discrimination arising from disability. The Tribunal dismissed all claims, including a finding that the Claimant was not disabled.
Stefan is a co-author of Daniel Barnett’s Employment Law Handbook (8th edition, 2020). He contributed to chapters on employment status, contracts of employment, working time and annual leave, family-related leave, and Tribunal procedure.
In EP v The Gym Ltd, the Claimant (referred to here as ‘EP’) was engaged by a nationwide chain of low-cost 24-hour gyms as a “freelance personal trainer”. His claim for disability discrimination arises from the Respondent’s termination of his contract on the grounds of absence from work, which he says was caused by a medical condition amounting to a disability.
Published: 4th Jan 2018