Professor Jason Heyes

Chair in Employment Relations

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

Jason Heyes is a Professor of Employment Relations in the School of Management at the University of Sheffield. He is director of the Centre for Decent Work (CDW). Before joining the Management School in 2012 he was a Reader in Human Resource Management and head of the Organisation, Work and Employment group at the University of Birmingham.

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

He is an Associate Editor of the Industrial Relations Journal and a former member of the editorial board of Work, Employment & Society. He is also an Academic Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and a Member of the ESRC’s Peer Review College.

Teaching and learning

Jason has a strong commitment to providing students with an interesting and intellectually challenging learning experience. He is currently responsible for the following modules:

  • MGT659 Industrial Relations (MSc HRM module)
  • MGT6157 Social Theory for Management and Accounting and Finance Researchers (PGR module)

Jason has contributed to curriculum development in various ways. He initiated and designed the Social Theory module for PGR students and previously served as the programme director for the school’s MSc HRM programme. He actively contributes to the Faculty of Social Science’s Global Leadership Initiative (GLI) and has arranged for groups of students to attend meetings of the ILO’s governing body, held in Geneva. His contribution to the GLI has been recognised through a Faculty of Social Science Learning & Teaching Award in 2015 and a Senate Award for Collaborative Activities in 2016.

Research and impact

Jason’s main research interest is in the connections between employment relations, political economy and public policy. His current research focuses on the causes and consequences of labour market reforms in the EU; the European Commission’s flexicurity agenda; underemployment and wellbeing; the regulation of the employment relationship and labour standards; and the governance of labour issues (labour administration). His research typically takes a comparative approach and uses qualitative and quantitative methods. Previous 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.

Jason is interested in research that leads to impact. For example, in 2015 he led a project on comparative developments in labour administration, which was co-funded by the ILO and the ESRC and led to the development of a training toolkit for labour inspectorates. The toolkit, which was designed by Jason Heyes and Dr Thomas Hastings on behalf of the ILO, is intended to help labour inspectorates extend their reach to the informal economy. The toolkit has been used to train many labour inspectors and is available at

PhD Supervision

Applications are encouraged in the broad fields of Employment Relations and HRM. Specific areas of interest include employment relations and political economy; flexicurity; the state and employment relations; employment protection legislation; governance and regulation of the labour market; low-paid work and precarious work; and Brexit. In addition, a list of proposed projects is available at

Recent Projects / Grants

Title/ Description Awarding body Dates People Involved Amount
ESRC Seminar Series, Understanding the Post-Crisis Landscape: Assessing Change in Economic Management, Welfare, Work and Democracy ESRC 2014-2016 Jason Heyes, Paul Lewis, David Bailey, Monica Clau-Losada, Magnus Ryner and Anastasia Nesvetailova £29,937
Strengthening Labour Administration ESRC and ILO 2014-2016 Jason Heyes and Thomas Hastings £31,890
Regulatory, Psychological and Demographic Influences on the Hiring Activity of Owner-Entrepreneurs British Academy/Leverhulme 2013-2014 Jason Heyes, Tim Vorley and Ute Stephan £9,880