Photo of Joe Atkinson

Joe Atkinson

Position: Lecturer in Law
Email Address:
Telephone:+44 (0)114 222 6826

Academic Profile

I joined the University of Sheffield as a Lecturer in January 2019. My main areas of research are labour and employment law, labour market regulation, and human rights. I am currently completing a PhD at University College London, which examines philosophical and legal aspects of the relationship between human rights and labour law.

Before entering academia I worked in Parliament as a researcher and political advisor, during which time I was responsible for a broad range of legislative and policy issues.


LLM, London School of Economics
BA Jurisprudence, University of Oxford

Teaching & Learning 

I largely teach in my own areas of research, those related to human rights and employment law, which means I am able to deliver research-led teaching that gives students an insight into the new ideas and emerging trends in these fields.

I encourage students to reflect critically on the areas of law that I teach; what are they trying to achieve, and does the current law fulfil these aspirations? I also believe that it is important to understand the social and policy context within which the law operates.

This is not only far more interesting than merely learning a set of rules, it also develops students’ ability to think deeply and make coherent arguments about complicated legal issues. As a result, I expect my students to not just be able to understand the law, but also to engage with it normatively; what’s good about the law, what reforms are desirable?

The modules I teach are:

Undergraduate Postgraduate
Employment Law Discrimination
Public Law

Research Interests

  • Employment and Labour Law
  • Public Law and Human Rights
  • Legal and Constitutional Theory

Professional Activities and Recognition

I am a member of the Society of Legal Scholars, the Institute of Employment Rights, and the Industrial Law Society.

Recent Invited Papers and Keynote Lectures (Last 2 years)

  • J. Atkinson, ‘Human Rights at Work and Implied Terms in the Contract of Employment’, presented at the London Labour Law Discussion Group (2018).
  • J. Atkinson, ‘Human Rights at Work and Implied Terms in the Contract of Employment’ presented at the Oxford Labour Law Discussion Group (2017).
  • J. Atkinson, ‘Human Rights as Foundations for Labour Law’ presented at the Labour Law Research Network Conference in Toronto (Jule 2017).
  • J. Atkinson, ‘Human Rights and Labour Law’, presented at RemarkLab Workshop at Stockholm University (2016).

Journal articles