Professor Jason Heyes

Chair in Employment Relations

Room: A015
Phone: +44 (0)114 222 3219
Jason Heyes  

I am a Professor of Employment Relations in the School of Management at the University of Sheffield. Before joining the Management School in 2012 I was a Reader in Human Resource Management and head of the Organisation, Work and Employment group at the University of Birmingham.

I regularly engage with practitioner and policy audiences and have undertaken research projects on behalf of the Low Pay Commission, the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). I have acted as a technical expert for ILO technical cooperation projects in Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan and the Ukraine and am regularly invited to contribute to the activities of the ILO’s International Training Centre in Turin.

I am an Associate Editor of the Industrial Relations Journal.


I am the Programme Director for MSc Human Resource Management and am the personal tutor for students who take the programme.

I have a strong commitment to providing students with an interesting and intellectually challenging learning experience. I currently teach on the following modules:

  • MGT309 Industrial Relations (final year undergraduate module)
  • MGT659 Industrial Relations (MSc HRM module)

Both modules provide students with a good understanding of contemporary developments in work and employment relations in the UK and elsewhere. Reflecting my own research approach, the module content links developments at the level of the organisation to changes in the regulatory, social and economic context of work.


My main research interest is in the connections between employment relations and HRM, the labour market and public policy. My research has examined the relationship between collective bargaining and vocational training activity and outcomes in the UK and Europe, the impact of the UK's National Minimum Wage legislation on pay, employment and training, and forms of trade union support for migrant workers.

I am currently researching the consequences of the ongoing economic crisis and widespread austerity measures for employment relations and labour market policy. Specific concerns include the consequences for the European Commission’s flexicurity agenda and the implications of the crisis for our understanding of institutional change and the role of the state in employment relations.

With Dr Paul Lewis (University of Birmingham), I am undertaking a British Academy/Leverhulme-funded project that is examining how employment protections have influenced labour market outcomes across Europe since the start of the crisis. A further British Academy/Leverhulme-funded project with Dr Tim Vorley and Dr Ute Stephan (both Sheffield University Management School) is examining influences on the decision by entrepreneurs to take on their first employee. In addition, I am collaborating with Paul Lewis and Professor Ian Clark (University of Leicester) in re-evaluating the Varieties of Capitalism approach to comparative institutional analysis in the light of the crisis. A further research project is investigating the implications of austerity for pay, conditions and career paths in the music industry.

I am the Director of the Management School's Work, Organisation and Employment Relations Research Centre (WOERRC).

PhD Supervision

I would be interested in supervising doctoral work in the broad fields of Employment Relations and HRM. I would be particularly interested in supervising doctoral work in the following areas: vocational education and training; the state and employment relations; employment and social protection policy and outcomes; governance of the labour market; low-paid work and minimum wages; trade unions; social dialogue; vulnerable workers (e.g. migrants, work in the informal economy)

Published Official Reports

Heyes, J. (2014) Vocational Education and Training and the Great Recession: Supporting Young People in a Time of Crisis. European Trade Union Institute, Working Paper. Brussels: ETUI. Forthcoming.

Heyes, J. (2011) Labour Ministries and Labour Administration in Transition: Recent Developments and Future Prospects. Labour Administration and Inspection Programme. Working Document 16. Geneva: International Labour Office. 27pp. ISBN: 9789221250814/9789221250821 (web pdf). Available at:

Heyes, J. (Ed.) (2007) Tackling Unregistered Work Through Social Dialogue: The Turkish and European Experience. In-focus Programme on Social Dialogue Paper No. 14. Geneva: International Labour Office. ISBN: 978-92-2-119980-9. 53pp. Available at:

Heyes, J. (2004) The Changing Role of Labour Ministries: Influencing Labour, Employment and Social Policy. In-focus Programme on Social Dialogue Paper No. 6. Geneva: International Labour Office. ISBN: 92-2-116354-7. 62pp. Available at:

Heyes, J. (2004) Firms’ Attitudes to Employing 16 and 17 Year Olds. Report prepared for the Low Pay Commission. 85pp.

Heyes, J. (2001) L’Administration du Travail au Royaume-Uni. Geneva: International Labour Organisation. ISBN: 92-2-212407-3. 78pp.

Heyes, J. (2001) Labour Administration in the United Kingdom. Geneva: International Labour Organisation. ISBN: 92-2-112407-X. 78pp. Available at:

Recent invited papers and keynote Lectures

The NASUWT's 2012 spring conference (2012).

A Division of Occupational Psychology Networking and Personal Development Working Group a workshop held at the University of Sheffield (May 2014).

A European Politics workshop held at the University of Birmingam(May 2014).

Key Projects / Grants

Title/ Description Awarding body Dates People Involved Amount
Regulatory, Psychological and Demographic Influences on the Hiring Activity of Owner-Entrepreneurs British Academy/Leverhulme 2013-2014 Prof. Jason Heyes, Dr Tim Vorley and Dr Ute Stephan £9880
Employment Protection, the Structure of Labour Markets and Distribution of Earnings British Academy/Leverhulme Prof Jason Heyes and Dr Paul Lewis (Birmingham) 2012-2014 £9990
The Role of Labour Ministries in Coping with the Economic Crisis International Labour Organisation Prof. Jason Heyes 2010-2011 £8000

Professional Activities, Recognition and Other Information

Editorial work

  • Associate Editor of the Industrial Relations Journal

Current chairs/boards

  • Former member of the editorial board of Work, Employment & Society
  • Affiliate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
  • Member of the British Universities’ Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA)


  • Regular consultant to the ILO
  • Occasional consultant to other organisations (e.g. TUC, ETUI)