Philip McCabe

Chippenham, United Kingdom

7 Testimonials
0 Case studies
7 Articles


Practice Areas:

  • Employment
  • Employment Contracts
  • Employment Employer
  • Employment, Breach of Contract
  • Employment, Discrimination in the Workplace
McCabe and Co Employment Solicitors

17 years' experience as a specialist employment lawyer advising businesses and individuals on a wide range of employment and HR issues including discrimination claims, redundancies, issues upon transfer of businesses, enforcing 'non compete' type clauses, long-term sickness issues, contractual claims and unfair dismissal claims since 2000. I am known for my ability to deliver practical, commercial and cost-effective advice.

I am a skilled negotiator and advocate. I have represented clients in Employment Tribunals and in the County Court, as well as conducting complicated and high-value cases in the High Court and Employment Appeal Tribunal.

I am a member of the Employment Lawyers Association, Industrial Law Society, and Law Society. I regularly write for national publications on employment law issues and am a regular columnist in the Derbyshire Times.

In addition, I am a qualified teacher, providing sought-after training, seminars and workshops to clients and local businesses on all aspects of employment and business law.

Previous Employment

McCabe and Co Employment Solicitors2017 - -0001

Principal Solicitor

Spencers Solicitors2015 - 2017

Head of Employment Law

Renney and Co2014 - 2015

Senior Associate Solicitor

FSM Solicitors2007 - 2015

Associate Solicitor

Tayntons LLP2006 - 2007


CLM Law2003 - -0001



Providing representation and advisory work in employment law including:

  • Unfair and constructive dismissal
  • Wrongful dismissal and breach of contract 
  • Redundancy and reorganisation
  • Disciplinary and grievance issues
  • Sickness and absence
  • Discrimination - sex, maternity, sexual orientation, race, disability, religion and age
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Performance management
  • Maternity, paternity and flexible working rights
  • Whistle-blowing and equal pay claims
  • TUPE and issues arising from insolvent businesses and bankruptcy 
  • Employment status issues
  • Restrictive covenants, including injunctions
  • Contracts of employment / staff handbooks / consultancy agreements / service agreements / employee benefits
  • Unpaid wages, pay and Working Time issues
  • Data Protection issues
  • Termination of employment and severance packages including settlement agreements
  • Advocacy, conciliation and mediation
  • Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal, Court of Appeal and High Court representation.


UWE, Bristol


1998 - 2001


Bath Spa University


1992 - 1993

Post Graduate Certificate in Education

University of Manchester


1988 - 1991

BA(Hons) Economics and Politics


UWE, Bristol

2001 - 2002

Post Graduate Legal Practice


Negotiated exit

I approached Philip because I needed an employment solicitor that I knew I could trust. He was recommended by a friend.

He helped me by explaining everything in minute detail and nothing was a problem.

The result was that my case was dealt with very efficiently and quickly every step of the way, with a fair outcome to both parties concerned.

Things I liked were his attention to detail and his professionalism. I had the silliest of questions and Philip was very patient in his help and explanations.

I found the experience extremely stress free and easy. Overall a very good experience.

I would have no problem recommending Philip to people who need anything relating to employment legalities.

All in all, Philip really helped me by taking the stress, hassle and potential heartache out of the situation. For that I thank him for all his hard work. (Mark S)

Unfair dismissal

I instructed Philip after my employer unfairly dismissed me. They hadn’t followed any procedures and were trying to avoid liability.

I was out of work and didn’t know what to do or how to go about it. Philip’s advice and effort was invaluable. He walked me through the process and set to work straight away. He was always ahead of things and issued proceedings to protect my rights and keep the pressure on my old employer. He got a really good settlement and avoided me having to go to a hearing.  (Junior F)

Unfair dismissal and 'whistle blowing'

I contacted Philip when my employer made up a reason to sack me after I had ‘blown the whistle’ on their practices.

I knew I had a case but my colleagues were afraid to come forward to help. It was a complicated case but Philip explained the legal side so it was easy to understand and what was involved in going through the Tribunal. He dealt with the hearings and told me what to expect at each step of the way. In the end, he persuaded them to settle for enough money to tide me over until I found another job. Fantastic work and thanks again. (Brendan U)

Contact advice, restrictive covenants and negotiated exit

I write to personally express my immense gratitude to you both for your prompt and knowledgeable help that I could have not done without.

I would not hesitate to recommend you both to anyone that I come across that requires legal support. (Meera J)

Unfair dismissal and breach of contract

I knew I made the right decision. He made me and my client feel like winning the case was as important to him as it was to us. I cannot praise his help, practical advice and support enough.

I would highly recommend his services and I would have no hesitation in working with Philip again. (Ellie D)

Ongoing employment and HR advice

Philip has helped me and my clients many times with employment law issues. His advice has always been timely, commercial, pragmatic and very easy to understand and put into place.

I would recommend Philip to any business or employee. (Esther W)

Contracts, policies, disciplinary and grievance issues

Philip has supported me and the businesses I work with for many years. He is incredibly sharp and gives clear practical and commercial sense advice - helping with sensitive and difficult restructuring, disciplinary issues as well as ensuring employment contracts and policies protected the business. (Sam N)

Published Cases

This solicitor hasn't yet added any Published Cases to their profile

Press Cuttings

HR Magazine
Employment in the ‘gig economy’: A new worker category? What does the highly flexible 'gig economy' way of working mean for HR? At one time only musicians looked to get a 'gig'. The rest of us found 'proper jobs' that paid a fixed monthly salary with holidays and let us plan for the future with some legal rights. Today more of us have left this traditional job model to try to make a living working for ourselves on one-off 'gigs' –as temporary workers, independent contractors or people selling their skills through websites. The 'gig economy' has firmly entered employment vocabulary, becoming a catch-all term for anything from Uber taxi drivers and Airbnb hosts to freelance professionals. It is a relatively small but growing workforce. Following the financial crash of 2008 the proportion of people working for themselves has grown from 12% to 16% and could soon overtake numbers in the public sector. And this is the issue in the UK: employment rights were created within a framework of traditional employment methods where only employees with two years’ continuous service have a right not to be unfairly dismissed. Those working short-term gigs may never work somewhere long enough. Today’s employment laws do not sit easily alongside the expansion of the gig economy and 'portfolio working' – where people work on a number of different projects for different organisations, sometimes combined with being a traditional employee. Depending on whether they are an employee or a worker they will have different rights, and the distinction is not always clear cut. On the frontline of the legal challenge is Uber. Facing employment rights claims in the UK from drivers, backed by the GMB, it has already settled 385,000 similar claims in California and Massachusetts for around $100 million, along with concessions on forming 'drivers’ associations' and not being banned should a driver refuse to take a fare. Most HR departments have not got to grips with this new way of working. There is a time and place to use gig workers, but businesses should be looking at the skills within their own organisation too – many already have skills that go beyond their existing role and are keen to put them into practice. Identifying, hiring and developing staff is time consuming and expensive. Knowing your skills resource can take much of the time and effort out of hiring specialised talent if there is a suitable internal candidate. PwC's report The future of work found less than one-third of employers have a strategy for the rise of the gig and portfolio worker, despite nearly half expecting at least 20% of their workforce to be employed this way by 2020. What does this mean for HR? Managing quality is an issue. In 2014 the CIPD found half of employers provide training to casual workers and just a third offered them performance appraisals. The figures were even worse for agency staff and the self-employed. Less than half include them in internal communications or consider them for any form of recognition award. There will be day-to-day challenges to automate the joining and leaving process. Confidentiality and the use of commercially-sensitive information will need to be addressed by implementing sound risk management and governance for staff working for multiple businesses – possibly including competitors. HR will need to ensure line managers are aware of working time, health and safety, and minimum wage legislation for all the different types of workers.       Main Article HR magazine
Professional Manager - Chartered Management Institute
WITH UBER FACING INCREASING LEVELS OF LEGAL ACTION FROM ITS STAFF, WHAT RIGHTS DO FREELANCE WORKERS HAVE, AND WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR EMPLOYERS? The term “gig economy” has firmly entered employment vocabulary, becoming a catch-all term for anything from Airbnb hosts and freelance professionals selling their skills through websites like Fiverr, and TaskRabbit, through to people working on a portfolio of different assignments for a number of businesses. But what does this highly flexible way of working mean for employers? The freelance world is still a relatively small workforce. Following the crash of 2008 the proportion of people working for themselves has grown from 12% to 16%. The UK is still some way behind the US, where 53 million Americans work freelance including 21 million independent contractors, but it is a growing workforce and could soon overtake number of employees in the UK public sector. Despite the growing size of the freelance market, most of us still have “proper” jobs that pay a fixed monthly salary with holidays and let us plan for the future with protected employment rights. And this is the issue here in the UK: employment rights were created to reflect the traditional employment methods. Those working short-term gigs may never acquire those rights. On the front line of the legal challenge is Uber, and some 385,000 cases in California and Massachusetts have already been settled for around $100million. Here in the UK, the trade union GMB is supporting Uber drivers’ claims that they should be paid the National Living/Minimum Wage. The driver’s status matters, both to the company and to its drivers: some estimates suggest that being classed as employees can make a difference to the employer's costs of over 30%. The company argues that traditional businesses are based on an outdated model, and that their way of operating is healthy for the market. It also claims that it creates jobs. But if the drivers are employees, they have the protection of all the rights traditional employees already have - and the associated costs. When the Uber cases are finally heard, they will highlight the unsatisfactory state of the law. In order to establish an employment relationship, there are three tests: the individual has to show that she/he is required to perform the service in person; that there is an obligation to be offered and accept work; and that the employer is able to control the way she/he does the job. A ‘worker’ has to show the first two of these – personal service and mutuality of obligations – but, rather than the employer being in control, the employer is a customer or client of the individual worker. If the application of these principles were straightforward, however, we wouldn’t have so many cases before Employment Tribunals. The growth of the gig economy has only exacerbated a pre-existing problem: how do employment judges determine employment status where the evidence is so ambiguous? Judges can often be motivated to protect individuals where they believe that employer falsely claims that the individuals are self-employed, aimed at denying people their employment rights, but this is not always the case. The government had promised to review the problem and the Department for Business, Innovation and Science is understood to be considering a public consultation on the issue. And most HR departments have not got to grips with this new way of working. In their report The future of work, PwC found less than one-third of employers have a strategy for the rise of the gig and portfolio worker, despite nearly half expecting at least 20% of their workforce to be employed this way by 2020. So there is still some way to go before the gig economy is well and truly part of the mainstream.   Main Article
People Management
  Name-blind CVs alone will not stop race bias during recruitment Home addresses and educational background may need to be hidden too Private and public-sector employers are being asked by the government to remove names from application forms in an effort to stop unconscious bias against potential recruits from black and ethnic minority backgrounds. A number of major employers, including HSBC, KPMG and the BBC, have already pledged their support. Tackling unconscious bias makes good business sense and, if it works, then ”name-blind CVs will open doors” not just for black and ethnic minorities, as David Cameron hopes, but for everyone disadvantaged because their name indicates their gender, ethnicity or marital status. In its simplest form, the system requires applicants’ names to be hidden from recruiters sifting applications or compiling interview shortlists. Studies suggest bias at this stage is significant. In 2009 a study for the DWP (pdf) found applicants whose names appeared to be white needed to send nine applications before getting a positive response from an employer, compared to 16 applications from equally qualified applicants from minority groups. Studies in the US produced almost identical findings and a report from think tank Demos in October, ‘Rising to the top’, found only 16 per cent of British Muslims held professional or managerial jobs compared to a national average of 30 per cent. Discrimination in the recruitment process is prohibited by the Equality Act 2010 (Section 39:1). What is meant by the ‘recruitment process’ isn’t defined by statute but case law suggests it starts with the decision about how and where to advertise. If a workforce is made up of people who are all the same, advertising internally will do nothing to improve diversity. Advertising externally is wrought with pitfalls though – employers need to be able to show the decision to advertise in a publication seen mainly by a particular group is justified. Getting it wrong could potentially lead to a discrimination claim. An employer can take positive action to address under-representation in its workforce, such as encouraging applications through targeted adverts or running mentoring schemes to support and give under-represented groups the confidence to apply for jobs, develop in the role and be promoted. Direct action under Section158-9 of the Equality Act allows employers to show preference to a candidate with a particular characteristic (say colour, gender, age, or disability status) over another equally qualified candidate to address an imbalance in the workforce. This is a power given to employers rather than an obligation to meet a quota system, offering a potential defence to what otherwise appears a discriminatory decision. Anonymous applications could be a positive move, provided they are not used in isolation. Recruiters may not see the applicant’s name but other indicators of background, such as address, school and college, are visible. There are more Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Hindu faith schools and academies than ever. Earlier this year a study of the 2011 census by the Muslim Council of Britainshowed there are many local authority wards where Muslims make up over 40 per cent of the population. Recruiters who are ‘unconsciously biased’ against names will have to close their eyes to the applicant’s educational background and address too. There are critics of the scheme, mainly due to the fact it will only apply to the initial sift or short listing stage. While potentially leading to a fairer mix of candidates making it through to the interview phase, the opportunity for bias when recruiters meet the candidate in a face to face interview remains. It is unlikely many employers will go to the effort of one orchestra which concealed candidates from the selection panel by a screen during auditions. Also, while concealing a name is something a large employer can undertake quite easily, it is difficult to implement in SMEs as the person receiving the application is often the same person conducting the interview. On the face of it, hiding an applicant’s name levels the recruitment playing field. However in practice, complicated problems are rarely cured by simple solutions. If the government’s efforts to address the disadvantages experienced by black and ethnic minorities through name-blind CVs fails, then there is little doubt that further action will follow.



This solicitor hasn't added any award details yet

Associations & Memberships

Law Society - since 2005

Employment Lawyers Association - since 2005

Industrial Law Society - since 2016