Jemma Pugh

Legal Director

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Jemma advises on a wide range of employment law and HR issues, acting for both companies and individuals.

She is experienced in contentious matters and regularly deals with all types of claims brought in both the Employment Tribunal and the civil courts. She also regularly assists with dispute resolution within the workplace to manage issues before they become claims.

Jemma provides advice on a variety of non-contentious matters, from general day-to-day workplace issues – such as sickness absence, performance management, disciplinary issues and grievances – to large-scale redundancies and restructures.

Jemma often drafts employment contracts, service agreements, consultancy agreements and staff handbooks. She manages the employment aspects of corporate and property transactions and is very experienced in negotiating exit packages and settlement agreements, both from an employer and employee perspective.

Jemma regularly writes for various HR publications, commenting on changes in the employment law world or providing practical guidance on how to deal with issues that may arise in the workplace.

Recent Experience

  • Successfully defending a business against a claim made by a former employee for race discrimination, health and safety detriments and unfair dismissal (and obtaining a costs award against that individual).
  • Drafting new employment documentation for a well-known hotel chain.
  • Advising a national retailer on changing terms and conditions of employment.
  • Representing a Senior Executive in his whistleblowing, unfair dismissal and discrimination claims.

Career History

Jemma read law at Cardiff University where she qualified in 2012. Prior to joining Wedlake Bell, she spent a number of years working at a leading regional firm.

Jemma is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association.

Jemma Pugh is an excellent lawyer. She always has the right strategy worked out. Provided good advice but also listened to my needs.

Legal 500, 2023

Jemma Pugh and Adam Grant provide most of our day-to-day advice. They are both able to take the legal position and help align it to the requirements of the organisation.

Legal 500, 2022


Does an employee sacrifice childcare vouchers during maternity leave?

There has been a recent decision in the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in relation to continuing childcare vouchers during maternity leave which may be of interest to those of youRead more


Guidance for Employers – time off on bank holidays

The last time we wrote about the right to take time off on bank holidays, it was in more jubilant times – the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee seems a long timeRead more


Navigating a flexible future

As we transition out of the pandemic, employers should expect to see a greater number of flexible working requests from employees. EY’s Work Reimagined Employee Survey published earlier this yearRead more


Central Arbitration Committee rules Deliveroo riders are self-employed

We’ve seen a spate of cases recently dealing with employment status in the gig economy (see our update on Uber’s appeal outcome here). In the latest case of this kind,Read more


Guidance for employers: who is entitled to take time off for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday?

We have seen a number of queries from employers asking whether their employees are entitled to take time off for the additional bank holiday in 2022 to commemorate the Queen’sRead more


Sexual harassment in the workplace: Uber media outcry alerts employers to cut the risk

Sexual harassment in the workplace is in the spotlight after widespread publicity of claims by a former employee at technology firm Uber. Adam Grant and Jemma Pugh at legal firmRead more


Sexual harassment in the workplace: beyond a joke?

A recent survey by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) shows that sexual harassment in the workplace is widespread despite legislation outlawing it. Adam Grant and Jemma Pugh offer tips onRead more


Social media dismissal – case update

Social media has been a hot topic for businesses for a number of years now. As it increases in prevalence, many employers are keen to ensure that they manage theirRead more


Gross misconduct dismissals – the range of reasonableness

This week’s bulletin looks at two interesting decisions from the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in relation to misconduct dismissals where the employee has a clean disciplinary record. Quintiles Commercial UKRead more


Update: Bereavement Leave for Parents

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 has now received Royal Assent. The Act, expected to come into force in 2020, will provide all employees with a statutory rightRead more