Assessing the Impact of Changes to Employment Rights

In December 2014 Professor Jason Heyes, along with Dr Paul Lewis from the University of Birmingham, co-hosted a one-day workshop on ‘Regulating work and employment: recent changes/future prospects’. The event was attended by representatives of ACAS, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the CIPD and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA), as well as leading academics and early career researchers. The workshop was the culmination of a two-year project, funded by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust, which has assessed the consequences of labour market policy reforms in the EU since the start of the economic crisis in 2008.

During the workshop, Jason Heyes, Paul Lewis and Mark Beatson – chief economist at the CIPD – discussed the implications of employment rights reforms for workers and employers while Dr Tim Vorley (Sheffield), Professor Ute Stephan (Aston) and Professor Simon Down (Anglia Ruskin) spoke about the impact of employment regulations on small businesses. Mark Heath from the GLA and Professor Linda Dickens from the University of Warwick assessed long-standing and emerging challenges facing government agencies responsible for ensuring compliance with employment rights while Tony Thomas and Paula Lovitt provided insights into BIS’ review of employment status.

The workshop presentations are embedded below, and available to view on Slideshare by clicking the appropriate speaker's name above. Jason Heyes and Paul Lewis have recently published some of their project findings in the journal Economic & Industrial Democracy. The paper, which can be read in full here, argues that the reductions in Employment Protection Legislation that have occurred since 2008 are unlikely to encourage a growth in good quality jobs. The findings point to the important role of employment protections in stemming job losses in the initial stages of the economic crisis. The paper also shows that increased participation in ‘involuntary non-standard employment’ since 2008 has resulted in an increased risk of in-work poverty.

Slides from the event:

Prof Jason Heyes & Dr Paul Lewis:

Dr Tim Vorley & Prof Ute Stephan:

Mark Beatson, Chief Economist at CIPD:

Prof Linda Dickens:

Mark Heath, Gangmasters Licensing Authority: