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University of Leeds.

Centre for Employment Relations Innovation and Change (CERIC)
Newsletter December 2022

Welcome to the biannual CERIC Newsletter, which summarises the centre news and research achievements in the last six months. 



Professors Irena Grugulis and Chris Forde were at Portcullis House at the House of Commons in Westminster on 25 October 2022, participating in the Renewing Work Advisory Group of Experts (ReWAGE) event held there in partnership with the APPG for Business Resilience. The Co-Chairs of ReWAGE Professor Irena Grugulis and Professor Chris Warhurst (University of Warwick), were pleased to welcome MPs, representatives from the House of Lords and colleagues from the CIPD, the Institute for Hospitality, the Corporation of London and the Gatsby Foundation. The event showcased ReWAGE’s work and publications, including the ReWAGE 1-page explainer Professor Chris Forde spoke about a recent report he had helped to co-write with fellow CERIC member Dr Gabriella Alberti, along with Madeleine Sumption and Peter Walsh on UK Labour Shortages. This was produced by the Migration Observatory, at Oxford University in partnership with ReWAGE.  

ReWAGE is an independent expert advisory group, co-chaired by Warwick and Leeds Universities and which focuses on the recovery and renewal of work and employment in the UK as it tackles the economic impact of Covid-19. It supports the government’s ‘build back better’ and ‘levelling up’ agendas by providing evidence to enable a strategic response to jobs’ recovery and renewal.   

CERIC played a founding role in the establishment of ReWAGE, providing some initial funding for the group's activities, along with the University of Warwick. Core funding for ReWage is now provided by the ESRC. Six members of CERIC are part of ReWAGE as co-chairs, experts and/or sub-group members. They are Professor Irena GrugulisProfessor Mark StuartProfessor Vera TrappmannProfessor Chris FordeDr Gabriella Alberti and Dr Simon Joyce.    



Dr Ian Greenwood

Dr Ian Greenwood,  Honorary Associate 
Professor in HRM and IR, and Professor Chris Forde, Professor of Employment Studies, were awarded a prize for Best Track Presenters when they attended the 11th International Conference on the Restructuring of the Global Economy (ROGE).


Professor Chris Forde

The Conference was hosted by the Centre for Business and Economic Research (CBER) at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. They presented their paper 'Restructuring in the Global Aerospace Sector: Understanding changing skills, high-performance working and HRM' written with Professor Jonathan WintertonAndrew Shires and Nafisat Olabisi.


Dr Andrew Kozhevnikov won the HRM Research Interest Group Best paper award at the British Academy of Management 2022 Conference. 


Dr Lilith Brouwers

Thesis title: “I feel safe when I’m working with her”: Sex workers’ experiences of management and wider work relations.

Supervisors: Dr Kate HardyDr Gabriella Alberti, and Dr Xanthe Whittaker

Read more here

Dr Lilith Brouwers


Dr Jack Daly

Dr Jack Daly

Thesis title: “You are constantly going against the default thinking”: hegemonic masculinity and the gender pay gap in the financial and legal services.

Supervisors: Dr Ioulia BessaProfessor Vera Trappmann and Professor Jennifer Tomlinson

Read more here


Pandemic related research projects

CERIC researchers have been investigating a range of issues relating to COVID-19, since the start of the pandemic in 2020. Research activities are exploring the impact of COVID-19 on work and workers, the economy and society. CERIC projects around COVID-19 connect to one or more of the three core CERIC themes of Social Inequalities, Voice and Representation, and Digital Futures at Work. Projects have been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the World Universities Network (WUN), Research England, the International Labour Organisation, the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation, as well as the Leeds Social Science Institute and through the LUBS Challenge Fund. 

Read about CERIC current and past projects here

Projects news

Dr Helen Norman is a Co-investigator on a 3-year study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, on a research project “Transition to Parenthood in UK SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises)”. Led by Middlesex University, the study  addresses an important gap in detailed knowledge on transition to parenthood in UK SMEs and is designed to have a direct impact on practice and policy as well as academic understanding of the management of maternity/paternity in SMEs. It is timely as it feeds into current/recent UK policy debates on parental leave, flexible working, and on how to support fathers in the workplace.

Read more about it here.  

Dr Jo Cutter, Dr  Marketa Dolezalova and Dr Gabriella Alberti have submitted written evidence to the Public account parliamentary call for evidence on “DWE0025 - Developing workforce skills for a strong economy”.
Their evidence based on emerging findings from the Labour Mobility in Transition ESRC funded project, focusing on employer strategies in skills and training investment and practices in low-paid sectors in the context of post Brexit shortages and Covid challenges has been received and published on the UK Parliament Committee website: Developing workforce skills for a strong economy - Written evidence - Committees - UK Parliament.  


Dr Asiya Islam has been awarded £6K through the Leeds Social Science Institute International Strategic Research Partnership Fund for a pilot project on ‘Gender, class and digital futures of work’ in collaboration with researchers at the University of Buenos Aires.


Journal articles

Alberti G, Cutter J. 2022. Labour migration policy post-Brexit: The contested meaning of regulation by old and new actors. Industrial Relations Journal. 53(5), pp. 430-445

Azzellini D, Greer I, Umney C. 2022. Why Platform Capitalism is Not the Future of Work. Work in the Global Economy.

Ciupijus Z, Forde C, Mas Giralt R, Shi J, Sun L. 2022. The UK National Health Service’s migration infrastructure in times of Brexit and COVID-19: Disjunctures, continuities and innovations. International Migration. 

Hesmondhalgh D. 2022. Streaming’s Effects on Music Culture: Old Anxieties and New Simplifications. Cultural Sociology. 16(1), pp. 3-24

Kapasi I. 2022. How university internships benefit microbusiness owners: Beyond anticipated value. Industry and Higher Education. 

Kozhevnikov A. 2022. Case studies in work, employment and human resource management , Tony Dundon and Adrian Wilkinson (eds) (Cheltenham, UK), Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, (2020) 320 pages, £28 paperback, £120 hardcover. New Technology, Work and Employment. 

Liu Z, Ji X, Luo W, Hu Y, Liu H. 2023. Deciphering the Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum by Granger causality test. Geosystems and Geoenvironment. 2(1) 

Spencer D. 2022. Automation and well-being: bridging the gap between economics and business ethics. Journal of Business Ethics.

Spencer DA. 2022. A Four-Day Working Week: its Role in a Politics of Work. The Political Quarterly. 93(3), pp. 401-407

Valizade D, Schulz F, Nicoara C. 2022. Towards a paradigm shift: How can machine learning extend the boundaries of quantitative management scholarship?. British Journal of Management. 

Wallis E, Nacua L, Winterton J. 2022. Vulnerable workers and the demise of adult education in England. Education + Training. 64(2), pp. 244-258 

Wang S, Kamerāde D, Bessa I, Burchell B, Gifford J, Green M, Rubery J. 2022. The Impact of Reduced Working Hours and Furlough Policies on Workers’ Mental Health at the Onset of COVID-19 Pandemic: A Longitudinal Study. Journal of Social Policy.

Winterton J. 2022. Book Review: Preet S Aulakh and Philip F Kelly (eds), Mobilities of Labour and Capital in Asia. Work, Employment and Society. 

Book chapters

Piro V, Romens A-I, Alberti G. 2022. Remote working and unionisation processes. In: Peruzzi M; Sacchetto D (eds.) Remote Working: Juridical and Sociological Aspects. Turin, Italy: Giappichelli 

Balderson, U. 2022. Water storage reservoirs in Mataquita: clashing measurements and meanings in The Social and Political Life of Latin American Infrastructures Edited by Jonathan Alderman and Geoff Goodwin
PDF view of the file 9781908857989_web.pdf (

Vincent S, Hurrell S, Kozhevnikov A. 2022. Critical Realism and the Development of Management Theory. In: Handbook of Philosophy of Management. Springer 


We Move: A Race Equality & Migrants Rights Summit

Over the weekend of 2 September, colleagues from CERIC, along with the Runnymede Trust, the UK’s leading race equality think tank, held a fantastic practitioner conference, titled ‘We Move’. Over 500 people attended from 150 organisations to debate and discuss research and policy relating to inequality and discrimination among migrants and minority ethnic groups.


It was an amazing event with leading figures from migrant rights groups and anti-racist campaigners, alongside leading academics. Discussions were wide-ranging on a vast number of topics, but the overall question people were trying to answer was ‘how do we come together to harness opportunities for change and move towards a better, fairer Britain?’. The feedback we received was that the event was outstanding with calls for it to be repeated in other areas of the UK.

Research Seminar Series


5 October 2022 Organizing, Capital Strategies & Global Agreements: The Corporatisation of Care and Trade Union Responses. Mark Bergfeld, Director of UNICARE, provided insight into the strategic options of trade unions to confront the care crisis. Watch here.  

16 November 2022 Union Leaders: Experimental Evidence From Myanmar Assistant Professor Laura Boudreau from Columbia Business School discussed 'Union Leaders: Experimental Evidence From Myanmar'.


5 December 2022 Defending hegemony: From climate change mitigation to adaptation on the Great Barrier Reef 
Daniel Nyberg, Professor of Management at Newcastle University, Australia, discussed the relationship between climate change and capitalism.

7 December 2022 The Improvised Language of Solidarity in Migrant Workers’ Organizing. Gabriella Cioce, Lecturer in Work & Employment at the University of Sheffield, explored the three linguistic practices that help overcome language barriers.


Read about CERIC past and forthcoming events here



Professor Chris Forde has been appointed as a member of the Research Advisory Group for the Insecure Work Programme at the Work Foundation (Insecurity | Lancaster University). The group will help support and advise the Work Foundation's research programme on insecure work in the UK, with a view to maximising reach and influence among policymakers and employers.   


Professor Irena Grugulis has been appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She is also on the steering group for the Business Resilience All Party Parliamentary Group. 

Dr Yujie Hu has been appointed as an associate editor for the “South Asian Review of Business and Administrative Studies” journal.

Dr Asiya Islam has been appointed to the editorial board of the "New Technology, Work and Employment" journal.

Dr Jana Javornik has been appointed as an Expert Adviser to the Slovene Minister for Economic Development and Technology, member of the Strategic Advisory Board, as well as an Expert Adviser to the Slovene National Institute of Public Health, member of the Long Covid Task Force. 

Dr Helen Norman has joined the Foundation for Education Development Parent/Carer steering group to advise on parental outreach and engagement.  

Keynote speeches and presentations

Professor Irena Grugulis spoke at a Work Foundation event with Peter Aldous MP on barriers to accessing training for people on Universal Credit. She also spoke at the Women and Work APPG on the Cost of Living Crisis.  

Dr Jana Javornik was a keynote speaker at the HR annual conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 28 September, with a range of businesses, on the (R)Evolution of the workplace: Industry 5.0 for Society 5.0. She is also delivering a keynote address on Long Covid and social responsibility at this year’s National Institute of Health Conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 5 October. 

Dr Kate Hardy represented the 'Childcare During Covid' team (with Professor Jenny TomlinsonDr Helen Norman and Dr Xanthe Whittaker) at the All Party Parliamentary Group on Childcare and Early Education chaired by Steve Brine MP on 19th October. They presented their research on workforce issues relating to recruitment and retention in the early years' sector, drawing on our large dataset developed from our ESRC project. Read more about it here. Additionally, the Childcare During Covid-19 team presented their work at a Newcastle University Business School seminar on Wednesday 9th November. The presentation was entitled "Addressing the crisis in early years education and care: evidence from England and Wales". Data from the project was cited by Steve Brine MP, chair APPG Childcare and Early Education, during a Westminster Hall debate about ratios in early childhood education and care settings on November 14.  

On November the 2nd 2022 Dr Gabriella Alberti has given her key note at the BUIRA Webinar Intersectionality and IR” organised by The British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA), and supported by Manchester Industrial Relations Society (MIRS) and Work and Equalities Institute (WEI). The recording will be made available on the BUIRA website and is currently available here. Gabriella’s talk focused on the different theoretical approach and challenges to operationalising intersectionality with a focus on trade union and migration research making the case for the relevance of “racialised migration” as a critical intersections against the backdrop of current political and economic development in post-Brexit UK.

Professor Vera TrappmannDr Ursula Balderson and Dr Jo Cutter submitted evidence to the following Parliamentary inquiry: Developing workforce skills for a strong economy. The same team and Dr Felix Schulz also submitted evidence to the Parliamentary BEIS Review of Net Zero. On 15 November 2022, Professor Vera Trappmann, Dr Jo Cutter and Dr Ursula Balderson delivered a presentation on worker perspectives on green jobs and skills at The Yorkshire Post Climate Change Summit 2022
Please visit for more information. 




The need for skills provision when decarbonising the Foundation Industries
by Ursula Balderson, Vera Trappmann and Jo Cutter


Employers’ responses to the end of free movement: the rhetoric and realities of automation
by Chris Forde, Gabriella Alberti, Ioulia Bessa, Zyama Ciupijus, Jo Cutter, Marketa Dolezanova, Gary Graham and Eleanora Morganti


Professor Chris Forde published a blog on the Work Foundation website about the findings of a report he produced for Renewing Work Advisory Group of Experts (ReWAGE) in partnership with the Migration Observatory at Oxford, which looks at the reasons for labour shortages in the UK. The report found that while Brexit is a consideration, the ongoing impact of the pandemic, international sector-specific labour shortages, higher inactivity levels, and an increase in early retirement are also important contributory factors.

Read more CERIC blogs



Associate professor in work and employment relations,
Dr Jana Javornik took part in a number of podcasts:

The four day work week: When is less truly more?
The loneliness of the long Covid employee: Could long Covid be the world’s next big workplace health crisis?
Four days' work for five days' pay: what the experts say

More podcasts by the CERIC researchers:

How recent changes to the immigration system have affected the Yorkshire and the Humber workforce
Dr Marketa Dolezalova and Ewa Jamroz
Dr Marketa Dolezalova is joined by Ewa Jamroz from Migration Yorkshire to find out more about the work Migration Yorkshire does. They discuss how recent immigration changes have impacted the ability of migrants to enter the workforce, the consequences of digitalizing the immigration system, and Migration Yorkshire’s plan for social inclusion in the region. 

The barriers migrants face when entering the UK workforce
Dr Marketa Dolezalova, Ewa Jamroz and Ewa Lelontko
Dr Marketa Dolezalova is joined by Ewa Jamroz and Ewa Lelontko from Migration Yorkshire. Following on from the previous episode with Migration Yorkshire, Marketa, Ewa and Ewa talk about the main barriers to migrants entering the UK workforce, as well as examples of good practice from organisations. 

The importance of unlearning
Dr James Brooks, Professor Irena Grugulis and Dr Hugh Cook
Dr James Brooks is joined by his colleagues, Professor Irena Grugulis and Dr Hugh Cook, once again, to discuss the importance of unlearning in the workplace. Using their research with the UK Fire and Rescue Service to give examples, they talk about the need to unlearn outdated practices and knowledge in order to become more efficient organisations and employees. 

Listen to more CERIC podcasts

Selected media coverage


Professor Chris Forde comments on drop in number of EU citizens moving to UK post-Brexit 

In an article published by The Guardian on 15 August, Professor Chris Forde commented on ReWAGE’s new report that while Brexit “exacerbated” chronic labour shortages in Britain, it was not the only cause.

Professor Mark Stuart comments on the current wave of rail strike action in the UK

Founding Director of CERIC and the Leeds university Business School’s Pro Dean for Research, Professor Mark Stuart, was quoted in leading Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter in relation to a wave of rail strikes in the United Kingdom.


Dr Helen Norman provides expert commentary on BBC Radio 4

In the episode of BBC Radio 4’s Analysis programme released on 14 November 2022, Dr Helen Norman provided expert commentary on the impact of fathers being involved with their children in the first year of life.

Professor Gregor Gall comments on the history of unions in the UK

Visiting professor of industrial relations, Professor Gregor Gall ublished a comment piece in The National, titled ‘Why UK unions have transformed to make a militant shift’.


Professor Irena Grugulis discusses upskilling and reskilling adult workers

In the FE News article, published 19 December 2022, Professor Grugulis discussed the importance of upskilling and reskilling adult workers to help UK employers keep pace with international competitors.

Read more CERIC news

Newsletter 1 - December 2018
Newsletter 2 - July 2019
Newsletter 3 - December 2019
Newsletter 4 - July 2020
Newsletter 5 - December 2020
Newsletter 6 - July 2021
Newsletter 7 - December 2021
Newsletter 8 - July 2022

Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change
Leeds University Business School,
The University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT

Twitter: @CERIC_LUBS   
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