Naomi Webber considers the first case relating to Covid-19 and s.100(1)(d) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 to reach the Court of Appeal, Rodgers v Leeds Laser Cutting . The case determines the employers liability in relation to serious and imminent danger claims from an employee during the pandemic.
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Naomi joined 3PB following the completion of her pupillage in October 2019 and has since developed a busy and successful practice in a range of areas of civil law, with a particular focus on employment, education and public law. She is ranked as an ‘up and coming’ barrister in Chambers & Partners and ‘rising star’ counsel in the Legal 500, and described by them as "an incredibly capable, strong, and diligent barrister".
Naomi is based in 3PB's Oxford office.
Prior to commencing pupillage, Naomi worked as a Judicial Assistant in the Court of Appeal, and as a teaching fellow and research assistant at University College London and the University of Oxford.
Lucinda Ferguson and Naomi Webber, School Exclusion and the Law: A Literature Review and Scoping Survey of Practice (Department of Education, University of Oxford, January 2015)
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Naomi has a thriving employment practice, acting for claimants and respondents in preliminary hearings, multi-day final hearings, and judicial mediation. She also regularly drafts pleadings and provides written advice.
Her practice covers a wide range of employment law. She has advised and acted in claims involving:
- Unfair dismissal (including automatic unfair dismissal and constructive unfair dismissal)
- All forms of discrimination (direct and indirect discrimination, failure to make reasonable adjustments, and harassment)
- Equal pay
- Unlawful deduction from wages
- Annual leave/holiday pay
- Worker status
- National Minimum Wage
- Breach of contract (in the Employment Tribunal and County Court)
Naomi has particular expertise in the field of holiday pay. She was junior counsel for the Respondent in Harpur Trust v Brazel  UKSC 21 (appeal to the Supreme Court, concerning holiday pay for part-year workers). She has since provided extensive training on the implications of the judgment, as well as on other aspects of the law of holiday pay.
Naomi’s background in university teaching means she is willing and able to provide training in a range of areas of employment law.
Prior to pupillage, Naomi worked as a judicial assistant in the Court of Appeal, where she worked on a number of ground-breaking employment cases, in areas including National Minimum Wage, whistleblowing, territorial jurisdiction, and harassment.
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Naomi has a growing education practice. She regularly advises and acts for parents, local authorities and schools. Her experience includes:
- Regularly appearing in the First-tier Tribunal for parents and local authorities in EHCP appeals, including refusal to issue EHC plans and appeals of sections B, F and I.
- Acting for parents and schools in disability discrimination claims in the First-tier Tribunal
- Clerking school admissions panels and independent review panels (school exclusions)
- Advising on breach of contract claims against independent schools
- Acting for students and universities in discrimination and breach of contract claims in the County Court
She also regularly provides training to local authorities on admissions, exclusions and EHCP appeals.
Prior to pupillage, Naomi worked as a research assistant at the University of Oxford, examining the effect of the 2012 changes to the law of school exclusions.
Naomi has a particular interest in religion and education and wrote her masters’ dissertation on whether children have a right to a secular education.
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Naomi accepts instructions through the Government Legal Department junior junior scheme. She has assisted in disclosure exercises for high profile and complex judicial review claims, and appeared as junior counsel in OA (Somalia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKUT 00033 (IAC). She recently spent a year as junior junior counsel to the Undercover Policing Inquiry.
Naomi has a particular interest in public law in the education context.
As a judicial assistant at the Court of Appeal, Naomi worked on a range of public law matters including immigration, asylum, human rights, school transport and the public sector equality duty.
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Naomi acts in a wide range of contractual matters in the County Court. She has advised and appeared for small businesses and individuals in matters including unpaid invoices, disputes over quality of work, consumer credit and costs.
Overlapping with her employment practice, she advises Claimants and Defendants on breach of contract claims in the employment context. In addition, she recently acted as specialist junior counsel in a commercial dispute, providing employment law advice for a complex multi-million pound claim arising out of a share-purchase agreement.
As part of her education law practice, Naomi also has a particular interest in contractual matters in the school and university settings. She has advised on contractual claims in relation to independent schools and out of school clubs, and acted for and against universities in breach of contract and discrimination claims.
COVID-19 dismissals: Rodgers v Leeds Laser Cutting  EWCA Civ 165930th Jan 2023
Calculating holiday entitlement for part-year and irregular hours workers: reflections on the Government Consultation1st Feb 2023
The counsel team for Mrs Brazel in the much publicised Harpur Trust v Brazel case, Mathew Gullick KC, Lachlan Wilson and Naomi Webber reflect on the recent Government consultation paper looking at holiday pay for part-year workers.
Objective, critical and pluralist: the secular law’s requirements for a religious education6th Jul 2022
Naomi Webber reviews the Northern Ireland High Court's decision on the challenge to teaching arrangements for Religious Education and Collective Worship in Controlled Primary Schools.
Worker status, ‘services agreements’ and the need for an ‘irreducible minimum of obligations’1st Apr 2022
Nursing and Midwifery Council v Somerville  EWCA Civ 229
Naomi Webber analyses the Court of Appeal's judgment in Nursing and Midwifery Council v Somerville  EWCA Civ 229, which provides a useful clarification when assessing the worker status of an individual who provides work under an overarching or other service level agreement, and confirms that the concept of a ‘limb (b) worker’ is broader than may have previously been thought.
Pregnant then screwed? Treasury justified with its income support scheme3rd Dec 2021
Naomi Webber analyses R (the Motherhood Plan & Anor) v Her Majesty's Treasury  EWCA Civ 1703, 'in which the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal brought by women who were disadvantaged by the Self Income Support Scheme. It did demonstrate, however, that care must be taken not to discriminate when creating schemes that rely on factors which may be affected by periods of maternity (and other) leave.
Competing rights in foster care27th Oct 2021
Naomi Webber reviews R (Cornerstone) v Ofsted  EWCA Civ 1390, a case considering whether a requirement for foster parents to be in heterosexual marriages on religious grounds was discriminatory.
Interim relief not incompatible7th Jul 2021
Naomi Webber reviews Steer v Stormsure Ltd  EWCA Civ 887, a case which examines whether the lack of provision for interim relief in discrimination and victimisation claims under the Equality Act does not breach ECHR rules.
Foster carers: worker status under Art 11 ECHR4th May 2021
Naomi Webber examines the Court of Appeal's decision in National Union of Professional Foster Carers v The Certification Officer  EWCA Civ 548, the latest in a number of decisions to look at the unique position of foster carers, this time considering the ability to form trade unions, under Article 11 European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (‘ECHR’) (the right to freedom of association).
Pregnant then screwed? R (On the application of Motherhood Plan & Anor) v HM Treasury & Anor  EWHC 309 (Admin)2nd Mar 2021
R (On the application of Motherhood Plan & Anor) v HM Treasury & Anor  EWHC 309 (Admin)
Naomi Webber analyses the case of R (On the application of Motherhood Plan & Anor) v HM Treasury & Anor  EWHC 309 (Admin). A case concerning direct discrimination.
On interim relief and incompatibility11th Jan 2021
Naomi Webber analyses Steer v Stormsure Ltd UKEAT/0216/20/AT, a case which could well add another tool in the armoury for claimants bringing in claims for discriminatory dismissals.
Disability Discrimination the Employment Tribunal: lessons for education lawyers21st Sep 2020
Disability Discrimination in the Employment Tribunal: lessons for education lawyers
Sarah Bowen and Naomi Webber consider two recent appellate decisions (Khorochilova v Euro Rep Limited UKEAT/0266/19/DA and Robinson v DWP  EWCA Civ 859) in respect of the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 (EqA) in relation to the protected characteristic of disability. Whilst the facts of the cases relate to the employment sector, the same definition of disability applies in the context of education. Accordingly, their principles are directly relevant and applicable to disability discrimination claims in education.
Worker Status Sent Spinning - Case summary of Varnish v British Cycling3rd Aug 2020
Employment law barrister, Naomi Webber analyses the case of Varnish v British Cycling.
Marriage discrimination: Gould v St Johns Downshire Hill UKEAT/0002/20/BA1st Jul 2020
3PB's employment law barrister Naomi Webber reviews the case of Gould v St Johns Downshire UKEAT/0002/20/BA.
Secondary victims: what counts as ‘an event’?15th Jun 2020
3PB's Naomi Webber provides a case summary of Paul & Anor v Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust  EWHC 1415 (QB).
Be wary of the ‘last straw’2nd Jun 2020
Be wary of the ‘last straw’: Williams v Alderman Davies Church in Wales Primary School UKEAT/0108/19/LA
The Power of Refusal to Register: F v Responsible Body of School W  UKUT 0112 (AAC)12th May 2020
Naomi Webber looks at the recent Upper Tribunal case of F v Responsible Body of School W. This is required reading for anyone who does disability discrimination work in the First Tier Tribunal, whose approach to registering claims for discrimination came under scrutiny in Re F for the first time and is likely to work somewhat differently going forward.
Is the law of vicarious liability still ‘on the move’? Barclays Bank plc v Various Claimants  UKSC 134th May 2020
Is the law of vicarious liability still ‘on the move’? Barclays Bank plc v Various Claimants  UKSC 13
The 126 claimants in this case were all employees of Barclays Bank who, at the start of their employment between the late 1960s and early 1980s, were required to undergo a medical examination. Examinations were carried out by Dr Bates (now deceased), a general practitioner who was not an employee of the Bank but engaged as an independent contractor to provide this service, and did so at his home. The Claimants alleged that they were sexually assaulted by Dr Bates while undergoing this examination and brought a group action against the Bank for compensation. A preliminary issue was whether Barclays could be vicariously liable for his actions.
At first instance, the High Court found that Barclays had been vicariously liable. The Court of Appeal agreed, applying the five-part test in Various Claimants v Catholic Child Welfare Society  UKSC 56, and Cox v Ministry of Justice  UKSC 10.
Supreme Court Decision (Lady Hale) - the key issue was whether the relationship between Dr Bates and Barclays was ‘akin to employment’. The Supreme Court held unanimously that it was not.
Employment Law Case Summaries7th Apr 2020
EAT Case Summaries by Daniel Brown and Naomi Webber.
Diplomatic immunity and leapfrog7th Feb 2020
Diplomatic immunity and leapfrog: Naomi Webber analyses Basfar v Wong UKEAT/0223/19/BA
Ethical veganism: a philosophical belief7th Feb 2020
Ethical veganism: a philosophical belief. Naomi Webber analyses Casamitjana v The League Against Cruel Sports (ET case no. 3331129/2018).
Is a belief in the moral importance of copyright a ‘philosophical belief’?8th Nov 2019
Is a belief in the moral importance of copyright a 'philosophical belief'? Naomi Webber analyses Gray v Mulberry  EWCA Civ 1720
Shared parental leave – Discrimination against men?7th Jun 2019
Shared parental leave – Discrimination against men? Naomi Webber analyses Ali v Capita Customer Management Ltd, Chief Constable of Leicestershire v Hextall  EWCA Civ 900
Naomi Webber is adept at representing both respondents and claimants in employment proceedings spanning unfair dismissal, wage disputes and discrimination claims. She has appeared in a Supreme Court appeal concerning holiday pay for part-year workers.
Strengths: "Naomi Webber's relatively junior call belies an incredibly capable, strong and diligent advocate."
"Naomi is able to get to the core of the issues involved in complex cases to achieve the desired result."
Chambers UK 2024/Employment/South Easter Bar
Strengths: “Naomi was really commercial with what we needed and did it quickly, which was a large part of what allowed us to attack and ultimately settle.”
Chambers UK 2023/Employment/South Eastern Bar
'Naomi has the ability to explain fairly technical aspects of employment law clearly, thoroughly and without unnecessary jargon.'
Legal 500 2024/Employment/Rising stars/South Eastern Circuit
‘Naomi is excellent – she is extremely thorough and capable. She is highly approachable and has excellent attention to detail. Her attendance notes are always comprehensive.’
Rising star Naomi Webber is ‘an incredibly capable, strong, and diligent barrister’ and successfully represented an employer in direct and indirect sex discrimination claims relating to breastfeeding and childcare.
Legal 500 2023/Employment/Rising stars/South Eastern Circuit