Before joining the Bristol Law School, Alan was Professor of Labour Law at Hertford College from 2003 to 2017.
He has a broad teaching and research interest in the general fields of labour, employment and work laws. He is interested in exploring these areas from philosophical, doctrinal and comparative perspectives. His recent work has used political philosophy to explore problems in the regulation of work. He is also interested in the worker-protective aspects of common law reasoning. His current research projects are examining freedom of association; common law fundamental rights; the role of criminalisation in work relations; and the future of the social democratic constitution.
His monograph, The Democratic Aspects of Trade Union Recognition, was awarded the Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship in 2010. In 2014, he was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize for Law, in recognition of his international profile and achievements as a scholar of labour law. His work has been cited in the United Kingdom Supreme Court (on sham contracts and the illegality doctrine), the Supreme Court of Canada (on the constitutional right to collective bargaining), and the European Court of Justice (on working time and paid annual leave). He is on the editorial committees of the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies and the International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations. He is also a general editor of the OUP Oxford Monographs in Labour Law series and a member of the executive committee of the Institute of Employment Rights.