Employment Law essentially regulates the relationship between employers and employees. It governs what employers can expect from employees, what employers can ask employees to do, and employees’ rights both while working and in the event that they leave or are dismissed. In more recent years an emphasis has also been placed on who constitutes a worker, as rights differ depending if this is the case. With an ever-evolving employment landscape, considering the emerging gig-economy, Employment Law remains a core topic for research.
We have put togther a list of 10 dissertation topics and ideas on employment and equality law for you. Please feel free to use these topics to aid you in your law studies.
Example Dissertation Topics & Ideas
1. Agency workers have created a significant and controversial problem in employment law. A discussion on the development of an agency worker’s legal status and employment rights
This dissertation topic will explore whether the Agency Worker Regulations 2010 satisfactorily deal with the protections that are to be afforded to agency worker. The problem is that the use of the agency worker has created another layer on who is an employee, which has traditionally enabled to use agency workers to avoid employment legislation. One could argue in the light of Franks v Reuters Limited and another  IRLR 423 and Dacas v Brook Street  EWCA Civ 217 this is no longer the case. However, the reality is that these formulations are only applied in limited circumstances, so an examination in this area could bring some insightful recommendations.
2. Does the Beescroft Report a conducive set of recommendations, which protects employees whilst enabling flexibility in the workforce.
This report will be examined in the light of current employment and case law, in order to determine the feasibility of the recommendations. Two of the core issues that will be explored are the legal issues surrounding: 1) the right to fire on the spot; and 2) the extension of the unfair dismissal protections to two years.
3. Is the legal application of “range of reasonable responses” test in unfair dismissal cases satisfactory?
This dissertation topic will explore the issues surrounding unfairness under s. 98 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996). It is recognised that unfairness is a difficult concept to define, which has not been clarified by s. 98. The result of this is the case of Iceland v Frozen Foods Ltd v Jones  ICR 17 remains a defining part of what is a reasonable excuse and what is not. Thus, the following examination would explore, through a case law review, whether the current approach to s. 98 is effective and whether reform is required.
4. To what extent is the law surrounding “restrictive covenants” and garden leave fit for purpose?
This dissertation topic will explore the nature of restrictive covenants and garden leave in English employment law. The issue of reasonableness is an important element of this discussion, which means the case of Littlewoods Organisation v Harris  1 WLR 1472 CA will be explored. The contractual application of reasonableness in English law can be compared with the US model, which gives a broader set of rights to the employer. This will ensure there is a full and frank examination.
5. Should the US ability to “fire at will” be imported into English Employment Law?
This is another topic that stems from the Beescroft Report, but it will be taken from a comparative review. The US model has different models of employment protections, but essentially it is a contractual approach. This means the “fire at will” is allowable with contract that does not restrict this power; albeit one could argue the misuse of sham agreements (i.e. agency/freelancers) already enables this approach in the UK.
6. The TUPE Process, in the light of the Beescroft Report, has been condemned as being too overbearing on certain employers (i.e. agency takeovers). Does the TUPE process need to be reformed to protect the lowest paid of large companies; however allow more flexibility at the higher rungs of organisations?
This dissertation topic will explore the contradictions in TUPE, especially with regards to relevant transfers (Suzen  IRLR 225, Betts v Brintel Helicopters  IRLR 361) and determine if the purpose of TUPE has been eroded by the ECJ’s desire for uniformity (Spijkers  ECR 1119). Thus, it will be put forward that the purpose and application of the case law has become significantly disjointed, which means a re-evaluation is necessary.
7. In the light of the current Public Sector Redundancies is the Consultation Process failing to ensure that there is a fair approach to “cuts”, because front line services are the targets and not the overburdening middle and upper managers.
This dissertation topic will explore redundancy consultation processes, in order to determine if they really protect the most vulnerable employees. The case study of current public sector cuts illustrates the issues, because the argument was that front line services would not be affected. But, the indications are this is exactly where the cuts were, which preserved the middle and upper management. This raises the question is whether there should be the legal use of auditors to ensure that cuts are fair.
8. Do the Flexibility Working (Procedural) Regulations 2002 provide a fair response to working parents and carers in the 21st Century?
This dissertation topic will explore whether the 2002 Regulations really bring equality to genders in the 21st Century, because a predominant number of carers are women. This examination will consider the Equality Act 2010 to determine if it adds any additional protections; as well as identify if there is a trend to lesser protections in the light of the Beescroft Report.
9. To what extent has the Equality Act 2010 improved the rights of the disabled?
This dissertation topic will explore the development of the Equality Act 2010, especially its response to the case of London Borough of Lewisham v Malcolm  UKHL 43. Thus, the purpose is to examine if there are more substantive rights for the disabled in all areas of their life from public services to employment; as well as identify “room for improvement”.
10. To what extent has the Equality Act 2010 provided an uneven approach to religious and freedom of conscience under its auspices?
This dissertation topic will explore the discord in the Equality Act 2010, because there is a requirement for all organisations to ensure there is equality for individuals in this area. The problem that arises is that some religious organisations are exempt from these equality requirements, which includes links to education facilities. Therefore, the basis of this examination will be whether this exemption is fit for purpose in the 21st Century?
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