Philippa is a DPhil candidate in Labour Law and Human Rights Law. The aim of her thesis is to ensure the effective protection of the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights in the employment relationship. This includes an examination of the applicability of human rights to the private employment relationship, an investigation of the adequacy of current mechanisms for the purpose of ECHR rights vindication and proposals for how the level of protection could be improved so that it is in line with the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. 

She is a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Law Faculty and organises the tutorials for FHS Labour Law students. Her teaching interests include Employment Law, Human Rights Law, Land Law and Constitutional Law. She is also the co-convenor of the Oxford Labour Law Discussion Group. 

Philippa graduated from the University of Birmingham with First Class honours. She was awarded a Distinction on the Bachelor of Civil Law in 2015 from St Catherine's College and received a Distinction in 2016 for her MPhil on the statutory mechanism of unfair dismissal. Her research is currently funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 


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  • Collins, 'The Inadequate Protection of Human Rights in Unfair Dismissal Law' (2018) Industrial Law Journal 1 (forthcoming)
    DOI: 10.1093/indlaw/dwx026
    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.
  • Collins, 'Covering up? Client embarrassment, neutral intolerance and wearing headscarves at work' (2018) Law Quarterly Review 31 [Case Note]
    This case-note analyses two CJEU decisions, Bougnaoui v Micropole SA (C-188/15) and Achbita v G4S Secure Solutions NV (C-157/15), on whether requirements that restrict the wearing of religious dress in the workplace are discriminatory and to what extent they may be justified by the employer's perceived need for its staff to present a neutral appearance to its customers or clients. It considers the potential impact of the rulings in the UK and the possible conflict between EU anti-discrimination law and the European Court of Human Rights' jurisprudence.
  • Collins, 'Human rights, gender solidarity and workplace culture' (2017) Oxford Law Faculty blog
    This post offers an answer to the question 'what remains to be done for women's rights at work?' It focuses upon European human rights law and highlights the necessity of universal participation in order to make further improvements in conditions for working women. The post concludes by observing the risks to the campaign for gender equality posed by current views towards the 'European project' in the UK.

Research programmes

Research Interests

Labour Law, Human Rights Law, Discrimination Law.

Options taught

Labour Law

Research projects