A member of the Employment Rights Unit based in Thompsons NI* office in Belfast, George carries a mixed case load.

This includes running the multiple NHS equal pay cases that started in 2006 following the introduction of Agenda for Change.

Experience

George has been involved in the following notable cases:

Bailey v Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service [2010] - Part time firefighters brought this multiple claim on the basis that they had been treated less favourably than full time firefighters during a recruitment exercise. The case tested and clarified the employer’s test of objective justification (particularly gender equality of the opportunity obligation) under the part time worker Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000.

Gail Adams v East Antrim Institute of Further and Higher Education [2008] - Ms Adams, a part time lecturer, claimed less favourable treatment compared to full timers because she was permitted less time off to study for a compulsory qualification.

The Belfast tribunal said that the time allotted to Ms Adams was “woefully insufficient”; that it was inappropriate to apply the pro-rata principle and rejected the employer’s argument that the employee was in a better position than a full time worker as her teaching time was reduced, proportionally, by a greater amount.

Expertise

George regularly delivers talks and training on employment law to clients.

He wrote a chapter on disability discrimination for the Committee on the Administration of Justice handbook in 2002, which he has just updated.

George has also drafted responses to government White Papers on disability discrimination and was involved in the development of the Part 3 Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Northern Ireland Code of Practice, which provides guidance in relation to the duties on service providers.

Professional membership

George is a member of the Employment Lawyers Group of Northern Ireland.

Background

He studied law at Queen’s University Belfast and joined Thompsons NI in 2002 as a trainee solicitor.

He obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Legal Studies and qualified as a solicitor in 2004.

Quotes/Recommendations

Thompsons NI employment team has been recognised by both Chambers and Legal 500.

Chambers describes Thompsons NI as having ‘particular strength in acting for trade unions and their members.’