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Report of EDF Research Network and QMUL seminar on fair treatment at work

July 19, 2016

In June 2016, the Equality and Diversity Forum (EDF) Research Network and the Centre for Research on Law, Equality and Diversity (LEAD), Queen Mary University of London held a seminar to discuss Raising the bar on equality and fair treatment at work.

New research highlights the difficulties many people have in securing fair treatment at work and suggests that these are growing. In a recent book, Lizzie Barmes, Professor of Law at Queen Mary University of London, exposed the flaws in the individual rights regime in the UK and argued for new ways of using employment and equality rights within workplaces to help solve problems and to increase overall fairness and equality.

Even though UK employment and equality rights, as enacted by Parliament, implemented by policy-makers and interpreted by judges, contain accessible and meaningful standards of fairness and reasonable behaviour at work, many workplace problems are going unsolved. It is urgent that we find and share new ways of empowering working people, unions, NGOs, and indeed employers and managers, to use all that is good in UK employment and equality law to solve the difficulties people face at work and to increase workplace fairness and equality. Participants at this seminar explored how we can do that, building on the research findings and hearing examples of innovation from NGOs promoting equality and employment rights.

And in a related blog, Lizzie Barmes explores the challenges of working life in an era of individual of legal rights.

Seminar agenda

Seminar briefing

Note of seminar

Video of seminar (1 hour 55 minutes)

Presentation by Stephen Williams, Head of Equalities, Acas

Presentation by Hannah Kibirige, Senior Policy Officer, Stonewall

Presentation by Denise Keating, Chief Executive, Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (enei)

Bullying and Behavioural Conflict at Work: The Duality of Individual Rights (OUP, 2016).


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