Michael Ford

—Professor Michael Ford QC joined the Bristol law School in 2015 and specialises in labour law, human rights and public law

It's the Common Law wot won it

31 July 2017

By Michael Ford QC, Professor of Law University of Bristol and Counsel for the EHRC in the UNISON case

As described by one commentator, the Supreme Court judgment in R (UNISON) v Lord Chancellor [2017] UKSC 51 is "the biggest single victory in the history of employment law". At a stroke, the Supreme Court declared unlawful the fees which for more than four years rendered many employment rights illusory in practice. The judgment also has very important implications for the effective protection of legal rights beyond the workplace, and its reasoning will echo in domestic and international constitutional law for many years to come.

Improving Enforcement of Workers’ Rights

23 May 2017

By Michael Ford, Professor Law at University of Bristol and QC at Old Square Chambers

Both the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats have included in their Manifestos a promise to scrap Employment Tribunal (ET) fees. But what has been the impact of the fees and how can the enforcement of workers' rights be improved?

Are Conservatives ‘now the party of work’? The Trade Union Bill suggests not…

6 November 2015

By Tonia Novitz and Michael Ford, Professors of labour law at Bristol University

This post first appeared on October 12, 2015 on the policybristol website. It analysis the Bill, comments on its likely conflict with international law and provides links to useful documents. Since publication of this article, the Bill has passed through its Committee Stage and is due back in the Commons in its amended form for its third reading on 10th November 2015. The Government has also published its response to comments received to its consultation paper entitled Tackling Intimidation of Non-Striking Workers. IER will post further analysis of both developments in due course.

Anti-Social Europe: USDAW v Wilson in the ECJ

01 May 2015

By Michael Ford QC.

In the 1970s AZCO, a multinational with employees in various European countries, decided it would make about 5000 workers redundant. It took care to work out in which Member State the costs of redundancies were lowest, and sacked the workers there. The response from the European Community was Directive 75/129 on collective redundancies (now Directive 98/59). An early measure of social protection, the Directive emphasised in its preamble its primary objective: "that greater protection should be afforded to workers in the event of redundancies while taking into account the need for balanced economic and social development".

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