8 March 2022



Sex / Gender

Diversity / Inclusion In Practice

Women’s Rights


Social Causes

International Women’s Day 2022

On this International Women’s Day, we celebrate the successes and achievements of, and the positive changes in relation to, women around the world. But there is work yet to do before we celebrate a gender equal world – free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination.

This week we represent our client, Ms A, in her Employment Tribunal case against Ex-Hartlepool Labour MP Mike Hill. In July 2021 the Tribunal found Mike Hill MP had sexually harassed, victimised, and harassed Ms A (his then employee) on the basis of her sex. Our hearing this week determines what remedy Ms A will be entitled to, and demonstrates the financial struggle women face in exacting justice when they have been wronged.

After having gained the courage to speak out about the injustices she was subjected to while in Mike Hill MP’s employment, including sexual assaults, Ms A struggled to find the funding for this case and faced an exceptionally arduous trial. Having been made jobless and homeless by the Respondent’s sexual harassment and victimisation, our client had to rely on sofa-surfing and benefits as well as crowd funding, and ultimately was represented through our pro bono unit. We note, by contrast, the stark difference for the MP, who was able to have his legal fees paid with ease. Despite being forced to quit the Commons as a result of the findings that he breached the Equality Act 2010 for his actions against Ms A, he was given permission to claim, from his parliamentary office budget, the legal costs of his defence against her claims. This House of Commons Insurance Policy is paid for by public taxpayer funding.

Too often we see that the women who make claims against men who are in positions of power are faced with endless struggle and obstacles, whereas the perpetrators, even when found guilty, have a far easier ride in pursuing even a hopeless defence, supported by deep pockets. It becomes all too easy to see why some women choose not to speak out, or find themselves unable, financially and/or emotionally, to pursue these claims. But we must all support each other and battle on, in the hope that the future is brighter for all those affected by injustice.

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