After graduating from the University of York with an English degree in 2004, Martha completed the law conversion course and then the Legal Practice Course in Manchester. Martha began work as a paralegal at Stephensons’ Manchester office in 2009. The following year she began her training contract and worked in Wigan, Bolton, St Helens and Leigh before qualifying into the employment law in Bolton in 2012.
Martha is based in our Middlebrook office and deals with all aspects of claimant and respondent work. She frequently advise claimants in relation to the following areas:
- Advise on bringing and defending a wide range of claims for unfair dismissal, including claims relating to redundancy, alleged gross misconduct, “whistle-blowing” and raising health and safety concerns;
- Assist employees who have not been paid the correct wages or who have had money taken out of their pay without their agreement
- Provide guidance to employees undergoing disciplinary and grievance procedures
- Advise employees and workers who have been unfairly treated, discriminated against or harassed in the workplace
- Assist employees when the identity of their employer has been transferred (known as “TUPE” transfers)
Cases of Interest
1) The claimant was employed to fit stair lifts by a large regional company. He had been employed by the Respondent for a number of years and suffered from a severe nervous system disorder and spine condition. He was dismissed due to frustration of contract as the Respondent concluded he could no longer carry out his duties.
Following an interim hearing in which she advised the Employment Judge of the circumstances of the dismissal, in particular the respondent’s failure to obtained medical evidence or consider any reasonable adjustments, the respondent settled the claim for the sum of £10,000.
2) Martha acted on behalf of a care home facing a claim from an employee who had been employed for less than four months and, following serious concerns about her conduct and performance, had been dismissed. The employee in question claimed that she had been discriminated against on the grounds of her sex and pregnancy as she alleged she had informed the respondent of her pregnancy some hours before she was dismissed.
We were able to provide evidence to support the respondent’s case that concerns about the claimant’s conduct had been ongoing throughout her probationary period and that this was the true reason for her dismissal. Shortly after I advised the claimant that her claim was weak, she withdrew her claim at an early stage of the proceedings.
3) Martha acted on behalf of an employee of a large charitable organisation who alleged he was unfairly dismissed following a flawed investigation and disciplinary process. The claimant was accused of bringing the respondent’s name into disrepute by making obscene comments in public regarding the respondent and threatening a service user.
The Tribunal found in favour of the claimant in a claim where the evidence was finely balanced and the claim was settled for £9,000 before the Remedy Hearing took place.
4) Martha acted on behalf of a security guard dismissed by his employer on the grounds that it was no longer safe for him to carry out his role due to his age. At no point during the claimant’s 8 years of service had his ability to carry out his role ever been criticised by his employer.
In correspondence with the Tribunal the respondent admitted that it would not have treated a younger employee in the same manner. The respondent refused to attend the final hearing, at which the Employment Judge was heavily critical of the respondent’s actions. The claimant won the sum of £22,500 as a result of the unfair and discriminatory conduct of the respondent.
What my clients say about me
“You were such a support to me which helped me through one of the worst experiences of my life.
Thanks again” Client, August 2013
“Just wanted to drop you a note to express my appreciation of the way that one of your team dealt with my case recently, Martha McKinley. I was impressed by her approach and attitude”.
“Firstly I would like to thank you for your professional and considered appraisal of my case and the efficient way it has been handled”
"I wanted to thank you very much for all your work on my behalf. I would not hesitate to recommend you to family or friends should they ever need legal help.Your professionalism and kindness helped me through the difficult process and I am much obliged to you"
"I need to thank you for your help and kind words of enthusiasm over the past 11 months ... I know you were doing your job, but you have been great, whether talking on the phone or sending updates by email. Thank you also for constant reassurance and advice. I feel that a huge weight has been lifted"
"My husband has just rung me at work to say there is a lovely cheque for me at home with a letter from yourself. Thank you so much for all your help through the process, I can't thank you enough for everything that you have done. It has been a pleasure to work with you and your Company. I certainly wouldn’t have had a penny (from my former employer) if I had not had your support and backing."