Joanne acts in a wide variety of employment disputes for a number of public bodies. These include a number of UK government departments, a number of local health boards and a number of local authorities. On behalf of these public bodies, she has been engaged in defending all kinds of employment related claims but particularly claims for unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal, unlawful deduction of wages, disputes surrounding the transfer of undertakings and discrimination of all kinds. Joanne is fully adept at handling the full range of issues that arise in such cases.
Joanne is particularly well regarded in discrimination cases. Over the lase five years, she has been regularly instructed to defend such claims on behalf of HMRC, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Defence, the Office for National Statistics, Cardiff & Vale Local Health Board, Cwm Taf Local Health Board, Aneurin Bevan Local Health Board and Public Health Wales. Recently, she has acted for the DVLA in a hotly contested unfair dismissal and disability discrimination claim and she is currently instructed in very substantial disability claims on behalf of the Inland Revenue, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Cardiff & Vale Local Health Board and Public Health Wales and a very significant and serious race discrimination case on behalf of HMRC in which the Claimant makes allegations against over thirty fellow employees including very senior officers of HMRC.
Joanne’s work on behalf of local authorities has included advising upon a wide range of issues such as the legal status of the employment relationship between the local authority and the governing body of schools, disciplinary processes and the correct procedures to follow in cases in which protective disclosures have or may have been made in the particular context of child safeguarding. Most recently she acted for Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council in the successful defence of a claim for automatic unfair dismissal on the grounds of “whistle blowing” involving a senior employee of the Council.
In July 2015 Joanne successfully appeared in the Employment Appeal Tribunal on behalf of the Ministry of Defence in respect of a case concerning the meaning of the Agency Worker Regulations 2010. Click here. This was a very significant case in relation to the law relating to agency workers in that this was the first case at Employment Appeal Tribunal level in which parts of the Regulations were interpreted authoritatively. The Claimant’s application to appeal to the Court of Appeal was refused.
In addition to her Tribunal work, Joanne also has experience of acting as the legal advisor to panels constituted to hear disciplinary matters involving police officers and civilian police employees. This role has included acting in an advisory capacity to both disciplinary panels and appeal panels.
Since the inception of the Employment Tribunal Litigant in Person Support Scheme (ELIPS) Joanne has supported it whole heartedly by offering her services free of charge at the Cardiff Employment Tribunal whenever other professional commitments allow. Under the scheme complicated cases brought by unrepresented employees are listed for various kinds of hearings and the barrister or solicitor on call is expected to offer sensible and practical advice and represent the employee at a hearing. Joanne finds this pro bono work very fulfilling and gives her insight into the difficulties faced by employees who may have been treated unfairly. At a recent ELA conference attended by the President of the Employment Tribunals for England and Wales Joanne was delighted to be one of the principal speakers on the scope and benefits of ELIPS in Wales.
- Rhondda Cynon Taff v Tina Griffiths(2006) (UKEATPA/1477/05/SM) Joanne represented the local authority in an appeal to the EAT on a point of principle regarding when an extension of time should be granted to lodge a notice of appeal to the EAT in circumstances where written reasons were not received by a party until the time period for appealing had lapsed.
- Marjorie Dugan v Department of Transport(2009) Joanne successfully represented the Department of Transport in an interesting indirect sex discrimination case concerning the application of voluntary early retirement schemes and compulsory early retirement schemes.
- Sharon Jarvis v HM Revenue & Customs(2010). Joanne acted for the Inland Revenue in a Judicial Mediation regarding maternity related sex discrimination and disability discrimination.
- Llewhelenn v Ceredigion County Council(2012). Joanne acted for Ceredigion County Council in an unfair dismissal claim, race discrimination and age discrimination claim involving a school teacher.
- Cosgrove v South Wales Police Authority(2012). Joanne acted as a legal advisor to the South Wales Police Authority appeal panel which involved the dismissal of a senior member of staff on grounds of dishonesty. This case was particularly sensitive.
- Pointon v Secretary of State for Justice(2013). Joanne acted for the Secretary of State for Justice in an unfair dismissal claim involving allegations of racism.
- Sophal v Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs(HMRC) (2013). Joanne acted for HMRC in an extensive race discrimination claim.
- Coles v Ministry of Defence (2015) EKEAT/0403/14/RN Joanne acted for the MOD in a case involving the correct interpretation of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010. Click here.
- Malkin v HMRC (2016). Joanne acted for HMRC in a case involving unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.
- Edwards v Secretary of State for Justice (2017). Joanne acted for the Secretary of State in a case involving alleged disability discrimination during the course of the Claimant’s employment with the prison service. The claimant was found not to be disabled but the case is ongoing as he has since been dismissed on the grounds of medical incapability.
- Rebecca Hopkins v Aneurin Bevan Local Health Board (2017). Joanne acted for the health board in a disability discrimination claim which concerned alleged bullying over an extensive period of time and successfully argued that the claim was brought out of time and that it was not just and equitable to extend time.
- Susan Murphy v Cardiff & Vale University Health Board (2018). Joanne acted for the health board in an unfair dismissal claim which involved very serious allegations of homophobia against a senior nurse which in turn had serious implications for patient safety. Joanne was successful in the defence of this claim. The Claimant was forced to withdraw her claim following lengthy cross examination by Joanne during which the Claimant’s discriminatory views and practices were fully exposed.
- Jones v Merthyr Tydfil CBC (2018). Joanne acted for the local authority in this whistle blowing claim brought by a relatively long serving and senior employee of the Human Resources department. Joanne was successful in the defence of the automatic unfair dismissal claim as well as the detriment claim.
"Joanne Willliams is very professional and extremely effective"
Legal 500 2011
"She leaves no stone unturned during cross-examination."
Legal 500 2015