Recent years have been traumatic for work and employment relations. COVID-19 intensified precarious work and magnified existing inequalities, but also highlighted the critical role of health and safety law at work. The proliferation of homeworking and teleworking combined with the ubiquitous presence of algorithmic technology resulted in intensification of work practices and distancing of decision-making from the physical workplace. The post-1945 settlement of full employment and the ‘rights-driven welfare state’ has been increasingly exposed as threadbare. More radical regulatory options need to be explored if we are to achieve a ‘decent’ or ‘fairer’ work agenda. Click here for more information and to book your place.

This Symposium aims to explore the nature of employment regulation, especially its priorities, methods and enforcement. The research data indicates that many work-related problems such as the gender pay gap, insecure work, and occupational accidents and diseases appear stubbornly resistant to legal interventions.

We will examine the reasons for current failure and assess scenarios for the future of work by exposing underlying problems and assessing future opportunities. What is the role and nature of regulation in the employment context? What do we know about the effectiveness of current frameworks? What is the role of contract, tort and ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ legislation? Why did the gang-masters, agency workers and temporary workers legislation fail? Why has the HSE so sadly failed to enforce health and safety in a deadly pandemic? Are there better ways to regulate the world of work? Would a human- rights approach be more effective? Can the criminal law provide a more robust strategy? How critical is it that international regulation works? And has ‘non-litigious’ enforcement such as ‘naming and shaming’ proved more effective?  The conference aims to debate the policy options and set out a coherent platform for the future of work post-pandemic.

Symposium Chair
Sir Patrick Elias, former Appeal Court Judge, England and Wales

Symposium Organisers
Professor Patricia Leighton, Employment Law Exchange
Professor Michael Wynn, Kingston University

Programme outline
2pm – What is employment regulation?
2.35pm – What do we know about effectiveness of employment regulation?
4pm – Are there better ways to improve work standards?
5.15pm – Reflections and debate
6pm – Drinks reception

Booking is essential to attend this event.

For further information about this event:

Contact: Professor Michael Wynn

Time: 2.00pm – 6.00pm
Venue: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR
Price: £25 plus booking fee