Philippa Collins, ‘The Inadequate Protection of Human Rights in Unfair Dismissal Law’

Workers in the private sector have limited legal options if they believe that, by terminating the working relationship, the employer has infringed their human rights. In most cases, they must rely on an existing cause of action, notably the right not to be unfairly dismissed contained in the Employment Rights Act 1996. The provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998 reinforce the argument that unfair dismissal law should play a role in the vindication of human rights in the employment context. Is the law of unfair dismissal capable of fulfilling this role? This article will argue that it is not. It will demonstrate that there are several major obstacles to the vindication of a worker’s human rights through unfair dismissal law. It will be argued that there are three ways in which the law of unfair dismissal is inconsistent with the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights: the narrow personal scope of protection, the lax standard of review applied by the tribunals and the inadequate remedies available to claimants who are successful in their claim.

Philippa Collins, The Inadequate Protection of Human Rights in Unfair Dismissal Law, Industrial Law Journal, Published: 9 December 2017.

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