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About Aida

Aida is a Partner in our Education Team and heads up their Schools HR team. Aida specialises in employment law in the education sector. Her clients include maintained schools and academy trust companies, as well as dioceses and independent schools.

Aida advises on the full range of HR and employment law issues in the education sector including day to day HR advice, grievances, disciplinary procedures, TUPE, absence management and dismissals. She always strives to provide clients with practical and robust advice, with a focus on early resolution of disputes and achieving the best outcome whilst minimising risk. She has a real understanding of the sector and the application of national agreements (Burgundy Book and Green Book),as well as collective bargaining.

Aida has particular expertise in complex workplace disputes and employment tribunal litigation, including cases concerning discrimination on all protected grounds, whistleblowing and where there is a crossover with other areas of law such as data protection, safeguarding and criminal offences. In addition, Aida is strategic and commercial in her approach. She is particularly effective in advising on crisis management and reputational risk, and in cases that require a high degree of sensitivity. She gives our schools clients the confidence to deal with a variety of HR and employment law issues that their organisation may be facing.

Our clients commend Aida not only for her sound legal advice and technical ability, but also her down to earth nature and exceptional client care.

Aida regularly speaks at seminars and webinars, and delivers training to our School Support clients and strategic partners.

Prior to joining Winckworth Sherwood, Aida was involved in a number of high profile and reported cases including:

  • Idu v The East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust [2019] EWCA Civ 1649
  • G Dobson v North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust UKEAT/0220/19/LA
  • Forstater v (1) CGD Europe (2) Center for Global Development (3) Masood Ahmed UKEAT/0105/20/JOJ

Recent Experience

  • Drafting and reviewing staff policies, procedures and contracts of employment for a range of employees from support staff to senior employees and CEOs
  • Advising a number of schools, multi academy companies and dioceses on internal HR processes including disciplinary, grievance and absence management
  • Advising on the implications of TUPE on academy conversion and harmonising terms and conditions of employment post TUPE transfer
  • Advising and defending a number of complex group claims relating to holiday pay for term time only staff arising out of the Harpur Trust v Brazel litigation
  • Leading the Schools HR response to COVID19 throughout the pandemic and advising on HR issues during COVID19, including issues related to health and safety, union disputes, holiday pay, re-opening of schools, sickness absence management and staff refusing to return to work
  • Drafting and negotiating settlement agreements and early resolution of disputes
  • Advising on the implications of national agreements (Green Book and Burgundy Book)
  • Extensive experience in successfully defending Employment Tribunal claims including claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination, whistleblowing, unlawful deductions from wages, holiday pay, breach of contract and group claims
  • Advising a number of faith schools in relation to crisis management and reputational risk following allegations of criminal misconduct against staff members
  • Advising on workplace operations and strategy post COVID19.

Professional Memberships

  • Law Society of England and Wales
  • Employment Lawyers Association (ELA)
  • Education Lawyers Association (ELAS)

Career Experience

2022 to present: Partner, Winckworth Sherwood LLP

2020 to 2022: Senior Associate, Winckworth Sherwood LLP

2018 to 2020: Associate, Slater and Gordon

2016 to 2018: Solicitor, Gelbergs LLP

2014 to 2016: Solicitor, Nucleus Legal Advice Centre

2013 to 2014: Trainee Solicitor, ELS Solicitors

Upcoming Events

Schools HR Legal Update – Ill Health Retirement

Webinar | Wednesday 5 June 2024 | 11:00 - 12:00

Speakers: Aida Smajlovic,