Staff Profile:Professsor Grace James

Professor Grace James
Job Title:
Professor of Law
  • Deputy Head of the School of Law
  • Currently Module Convenor for Employment Law
  • Co-Director/Founder of the UK's Families And Work Network (FAWN) - see

Areas of Interest:

Work-Family Reconciliation Policies, Gender and Employment, Discrimination Law, European Labour Law, the Employment Tribunal System.

Research groups / Centres:
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Number of items: 20.













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Further Publications:

  • "Del Monte Foods v Mundon [1980]" (with Rachel Horton) in Hunter, R., McGlynn, C and Rackley, E Feminist Judgements: from Theory to Practice, Hart Publications (2010).
  • Law's Response to Pregnancy/Workplace Conflicts: A Critique" Feminist Legal Studies (2007) 15:167-188
  • "The Work and Family Bill: Legislation to Improve Choice and Flexibility?" Industrial Law Journal Vol.35 No.3 (2006) 272-278
  • "The Meaning of Disability: Physical and Mental Impairment" (2002) Industrial Law Journal Vol 31 No 2 156-161
  • "New Labour, The Rationality Mistake and Family Policy in Britain" (2002) Analysing Families: Morality and Rationality in Policy and Practice, Routledge Publications p110-128 (with Anne Barlow and Simon Duncan)
  • "Just a Piece of Paper? Marriage and Cohabitation in Britain" (2001) British Social Attitudes: The 18th Report London SAGE p29-57 (with Anne Barlow, Simon Duncan and Alison Park)
  • "Work and Parents: Competitiveness and Choice Green Paper" (2001) Web Journal of Current Legal Issue


Recent Conference Papers

  • 'Elderly Dependents and Working Care-Givers: A Comparative Analysis of Legal Responses' Work and Family Researchers Network Annual Conference, New York, June 2014.
  • 'Pregnancy-related discrimination and austerity measures: time to mainstream carer concerns into workplace relationships?' Challenges for Labour Law 2014 conference, Kingston University, May 2014.
  • 'Austerity Measures and Access to Justice Following Pregnancy-Related Discrimination' at the ESRC Seminar Series: Work Life Balance: The Recession and Beyond Manchester University, April 2014.
  • "Forgotten Children: Work-Family Reconciliation in the EU and the Way Forward" , European Children's Rights Unit, Liverpool University, February 2013.
  • "Child Welfare and Work-Family Reconciliation: Pitfalls and Potential", Work-Family Reconciliation Network, New York, June 2012
  • "Working families - legal challenges", The Mother War Conference, Surrey University, June 2009
  • "Family-workplace regulation - the UK approach", Windsor University, Ontario, Canada, March 2009
  • "Mothers and fathers as parents and workers: family-friendly legislation in an era of shifting identities", SLSA Annual Conference, Manchester University, March 2008 
  • "Law's Response to Pregnancy/Workplace Conflicts: A Critique" Monitoring parents: Childrearing in the age of 'intensive parenting', University of Kent, May 2007
  • Pregnancy/workplace dilemmas: Testing the limits of employment law" at the Unit for Employment Law and Policy, Kingston Law School Seminar - Working at the Margins, September 2005
  • "Pregnancy Discrimination and the Need for a Family Centric Approach to Family-Friendly Rights" SLSA Annual Conference, Liverpool University, 2005.
  • "Pregnancy-related unfair dismissal litigation at employment tribunals in England and Wales 1996-2002: Some initial findings" SLS Conference, Oxford University, 2003
  • "Pregnancy and Unfair Dismissal in the 21st Century" SLSA Annual Conference, Nottingham Trent University, 2003
  • "A Final Taboo? Mental Illness and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995" SLSA Annual Conference University of Wales, 2002
  • "Pregnancy Related Dismissal Litigation at Employment Tribunals in England and Wales" Maternity Alliance London, 2001
  • "Work and Parents: Competitiveness and Choice" SLSA Annual Conference, Bristol University, 2001
  • "Employers Justifications in Pregnancy-Related Dismissal Litigation: Appreciating the Context and Exposing the Tensions" Women and Law Conference Westminster University, 2000
B.A. (Northampton), LPC (Chester), LL.M. (Keele), Ph.D. (University of Wales)

Biographical Details

Grace James joined Reading Law School in 2002. She was awarded her PhD from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, in 1999 where she also worked as a Research Fellow. Professor James was awarded a grant from the Nuffield Foundation to research pregnancy-related unfair dismissal litigation at employment tribunals in England and Wales and in 2007 she was awarded AHRC Research Leave to complete a monograph with regard to this work. In 2010, she was awarded AHRC funding to establish a research network to consider law's engagement with working families (Families And Work Network - FAWN - with Professor Nicole Busby at Strathclyde University).

Other Activities

Grace James is:

  • UK gender equality law expert for the European Equality in Law Network - a network of legal experts from 35 countries, providing information to the European Commission on gender equality and non-discrimination issues
  • A member of the Academic Advisory Group for the current BIS/EHRC project on Pregnancy and Maternity related Discrimination in the Workplace: 2014 - 2015.
  • Co-I on an inter-disciplinary ESRC funded seminar series: Work-Life Balance in the Recession and Beyond (see
  • UK representative for the Work Family Researchers Network (WFRN)'s International Committee.
  • A member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council peer review panel for law.
Dr. Grace James

Contact Details

+44 (0) 118 378 5243

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