Craig Peel is a highly skilled employment lawyer working exclusively for trade union members in the North West of England and based at Thompsons Solicitors’ Liverpool office.
Craig has more than a decade of experience dealing with employment law. During this period he has also advised trade union clients and members in cases that have involved defamation, commercial agent compensation, professional misconduct and coroner inquests.
Craig is responsible for advising unions and their members in all aspects of employment law and representing union members at employment tribunals. Craig has particular experience advising and representing union members in discrimination claims, trade union detriment claims, protected disclosure (“whistleblowing”) detriments, unfair dismissal and complex contract cases. As part of his work he has given speeches at the Institute of Employment Rights.
Craig’s focus is very much client-based. Craig points out that each client is different and that it is important for him to empathise with them and ensure he fully understands their expectations and their goals in pursuing proceedings. Craig does his utmost to achieve those aims.
Thompsons’ insistence on representing union claimants rather than employers is important to Craig because it enables him to pursue justice for those who have been wrongly treated.
Outside of work, Craig enjoys playing and watching football, dog walking and keeping active.
CRAIG’S CASE EXPERIENCE
Houldin & Lindop -v- Faiverley Transport Birkenhead Limited
The employer was an international manufacturer and supplier of equipment for the railway industry. A union member was subjected to a series of discriminatory acts, due to disability, over a period of two years by two of the employer’s managers. A local union official stepped in to help the member raise a grievance but found himself subjected to efforts by these managers to get him sacked.
Craig successfully represented the member and the union official in tribunal proceedings for discrimination, including victimisation and harassment and trade union detriment. The tribunal made an award of approximately £25,000 and made recommendations that included the employer consulting with the recognised trade union in relation to a reasonable adjustment policy.
Hardy & Others -v- The Chief Constable of Manchester Police
The police made national changes to the terms and conditions of Police Staff in relation to maternity pay but sought to limit these changes to only those with an expected week of childbirth (EWC) on or after the implementation date. This had the effect of preventing those already on maternity leave from benefiting from these changes.
Craig advised the union nationally and successfully represented the union members in this lead case to the benefit of Police Staff nationwide.
Montgomery -v- Sevacare
In 2016 Craig took a case against Sevacare - one of the largest homecare providers in the UK - on behalf of Judith Montgomery, from Bury in Greater Manchester.
Judith’s case resulted in a payment of £3,250 for withheld travel time payments, equivalent to nearly 500 hours at the then national minimum wage rate of £6.70 per hour. This Unison case drew attention to the plight of up to 220,000 other carers throughout the UK who had similar experiences.
Working on a zero hours contract, Judith regularly worked split shifts spanning 15 hours in a day, yet Sevacare did not pay her travel time between client visits. As a result she could start work at 7am and finish as late as 10.30pm (having done breakfast, tea and bed runs), but still be underpaid by up to £60 a week.
In another minimum wage case against an employer Craig achieved a settlement in excess of £210,000 for underpaid workers.
Iqbal -v- POA (Court of Appeal)
The claimant, a prisoner, alleged false imprisonment against prison officers who had taken unlawful strike action leaving him confined to his cell and unable to engage in normal activities. A governor’s order had been issued confining prisoners to their cells because of the strike. The Prison Officers’ Association appealed against a finding that it was liable and the appeal court decided the judge had been wrong to hold that the POA was liable for the tort of false imprisonment.
“I acquired Thompsons services through my union. I had issues with my employer, went through their internal processes and was dissatisfied with the outcome and how I was treated. My lawyer ensured my expectations were realistic. I was naive to begin with, on what could be addressed within the rights of employment law. He was approachable, empathetic, and always remained professional. He was supportive, ensuring I understood the legal aspects, the processes and reviewed everything with me so I was clear on what I needed to do and what was happening. He prepared me for court, the cross examination process, how to compose myself in court and focus on my answers. We won the employment law tribunal. I believe being well prepared, focused and clear through his support had a lot to do with it. Being a credible witness as well as having evidence is key. He negotiated my settlement which I was also very happy with. He listened and understood what was important to me, I got my dignity back and for that I am very grateful.”
“Very professional and courteous. Excellent communication and advice provided. The lawyer was also very reassuring and knowledgeable in the field and took the stress out of the situation.”
“To say that I'm supremely happy with all the help and support I've received from Thompsons Solicitors, is an understatement. During a most difficult time in my life, the knowledge that they were handling my case gave me confidence and peace of mind throughout. Professional and caring in equal measure, I couldn't have asked for more.”
“My case from start to finish was dealt with, with complete professionalism. The communication was first class. I was kept updated and informed in a timely manner and the resolution of the case was the desired result. Thank you Craig Peel.”
“I was kept up to date with my case at all times. Everything was explained to me in a way I understood, so I knew what was going on. Easy to contact and speak to. Very happy with the lawyer that dealt with my case. Highly recommend Thompsons.”
“Your expertise, words of wise counsel and sheer hard work have been excellent. I know Eirlys thinks very highly of you as I do, too.” (from a Unison North Wales regional organiser)
“I cannot thank you enough for the support you have given to me throughout the claim, and for your most admirable professionalism and hard work. My feelings are the same for Unison.”