Joe Atkinson is a PhD student at University College London researching in the area of Employment Law and Human Rights. He will be presenting a paper on 'Human Rights and Implied Terms in Contracts of Employment.'


In this paper, I examine the potential for implied contractual terms to be used to protect employee's human rights from interference by employers. The paper briefly considers the relationship between human rights and labour law, the emerging normative consensus that workers' human rights should not be left at the factory (or office) door, and the various means available for protecting human rights at work. Against this backdrop I then look at the role that implied terms play protecting workers human rights; arguing that the term of mutual trust and confidence is poorly suited to this task, but that there is potential for the courts to develop a new implied term requiring employers respect the human rights of their employees.