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Recent Research Reports


Churn and Stability in Workforce Consultation Arrangements using WERS Panel Data
 
Duncan Adam (Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick), John Purcell (School of Management, University of Bath) and Mark Hall (Industrial Relations Research Unit, University of Warwick)

This Acas research paper uses the WERS panel data to explore changes in the incidence of Joint Consultative Committees (JCCs) in workplaces in Britain between 2004 and 2011.

The full report can be downloaded here

Joint consultative committees under the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations: A WERS analysis
Duncan Adam (Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick), John Purcell (School of Management, University of Bath), Mark Hall (Industrial Relations Research Unit, University of Warwick)

This Acas research paper analyses survey data on joint consultative committees (JCCs) from the 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study (WERS) in the context of wider research. It pays particular attention to the effects of the Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) Regulations 2004. The paper examines the incidence, composition, operation and impact of JCCs, focusing on workplaces belonging to organisations with 50 or more employees that have a workplace and/ or higher-level JCC.
The full report can be downloaded here.

Skills for Sustainable Employment: Strategies to Tackle Youth Unemployment
Melanie Simms (IRRU, University of Warwick), Ben Hopkins (University of Aberystwyth) and Sophie Gamwell (IRRU, University of Warwick)

This report published by Union Learn, the learning and skills organisation of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), explores the challenges facing young people in today’s labour market. It has a particular focus on young unemployed people and the policies and initiatives to help them find work. A further concern relates not only to the quantity of jobs available to young people, but also the quality. This is important because poor quality jobs can often act as "poverty traps" tracking young people into cycles of employment and unemployment rather than acting as "stepping stones" into decent work. The full report can be downloaded here.

Governance of Uncertainty and Sustainability:
Challenges at National, Sectoral, Territorial and Company levels - Final Report Workpackage 6
[Dorothee Bohle, Luigi Burroni] and Paul Marginson

Workpackage 6 has focused on two key aspects of the infra-national governance of uncertainty, namely the reorientation of collective bargaining, a central mode of labour market governance to address questions of competitiveness, flexibility, employment and income security, and emerging models of regional governance of labour market uncertainty. The final report can be downloaded here.

 European industrial relations under international pressure: A six-country comparison
 
Guglielmo Meardi
 
This research report on industrial relations change in the six largest EU countries, funded by an ESRC mid-career research fellowship, based on empirically-based assessments of the effects of migration, multinational companies and EU policies can be downloaded here. The report is also available in French , German, Italian and Spanish.

BARSORI (BARgaining for SOcial RIghts)

Bargaining for social rights: reducing precariousness and labour market segmentation through collective bargaining and social dialogue
Project financed by the European Commission and coordinated by the (University of) Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Studies (AIAS)
The project investigated how trade unions are responding to the challenges of organising precarious workers.
Further details of this project, research reports and policy papers can be downloaded here 

From national to sectoral industrial relations: Developments in sectoral industrial relations in the EU
 
[Barbara Bechter, Bernd Brandl], and Guglielmo Meardi

This study, for the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, focusing on industrial relations in nine sectors across the 27 EU Member States, aims to highlight the potential for comparing sectoral industrial relations, and to show that it tends to develop similar characteristics across national borders. It pinpoints factors that may explain different degrees of international convergence in different sectors, and therefore the potential for EU-level coordination in each sector. The full report can be downloaded here

Information and consultation under the ICE Regulations: evidence from longitudinal case studies
 
Mark Hall, Sue Hutchinson, John Purcell, Mike Terry and Jane Parker

This is the final report to present findings of longitudinal research in 25 organisations looking at employee consultation practice in the light of the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004. Despite being established around the time the Regulations came into force, the reasons for establishing information and consultation (I&C) arrangements were most often attributed to internal factors concerned with the management of change. Management was, in all cases, the instigators of I&C and they dominated the operation of I&C bodies. Two distinct categories were identified. ‘Active consulters’ provided information on strategic issues and consulted over these. ‘Communicators’ used I&C to listen to employee views and gain reaction to management decisions after they had been announced. Employee representatives in ‘active consulters’ were better organised and more stable than in their ‘communicator’ counterparts. Where unions were recognised they generally took part in I&C bodies alongside non-union representatives. There is no evidence of management using I&C to derecognise unions, but some set up I&C as a means of avoiding unions. The impact of the Regulations on the practice of I&C was low.

The full report can be downloaded here

Age, Gender and Performer Employment in Europe
Deborah Dean

 The International Federation of Actors (FIA) recently commissioned an online questionnaire to survey performers across Europe in film, television, theatre and radio on their perceptions of the effects of social identities (principally gender and age) on a range of areas including access to work, pay, content of work and career longevity. This project was funded within the ‘social dialogue’ strand of the European Commission’s work. The report's findings indicate differentiated effects of age on access to work, pay and career longevity, depending on the performer’s gender. This is despite the status of performing work as a long-established gender-integrated occupation. The full report can be downloaded here

 Implementing information and consultation in medium-sized organisations
Mark Hall, Sue Hutchinson, Jane Parker, John Purcell and Mike Terry

 This report presents findings from interviews and employee surveys in eight case study organisations with 100-150 employees undertaken as part of an ongoing research project examining employee consultation practice in the light of the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004. The research found considerable similarities between the nature and operation of the case study organisations’ I&C bodies and those of larger organisations studied. There were some differences in practice reflecting factors such as greater informality in employment relations and limited HR management capacity that may be characteristic of smaller organisations. These included a lower incidence of contested elections for employee representatives and fewer ‘strategic’ issues being tabled for discussion by management. However, employee representatives received greater recognition of their role from the workforce than did their counterparts in the larger organisations.

 The full report can be downloaded from the BERR website
 
Implementing information and consultation: early experience under the ICE Regulations - interim update report
Mark Hall, Sue Hutchinson, Jane Parker, John Purcell and Mike Terry

This interim update report analyses developments in the operation of information and consultation in 12 case study organisations in the year following the initial research. It draw distinctions between some which appeared to be operating successfully and others where problems and difficulties had been encountered, and highlights the importance of managerial commitment in the successful operation of these arrangements.
The interim report can be downloaded from the BERR website

 Implementing information and consultation: early experience under the ICE Regulations
Mark Hall, Sue Hutchinson, Jane Parker, John Purcell and Mike Terry

 This report presents initial findings from case study-based research concerning the employee information and consultation (I&C) arrangements of a range of different organisations in the changed legal context established by the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004. The research found considerable variation in the nature and operation of the case study organisations’ I&C bodies. The evidence suggests that senior managers are engaging seriously with the I&C bodies, and that some significant issues have been discussed. Reported instances of I&C bodies influencing management decisions or their implementation are sparse, and employee awareness of the existence and role of I&C bodies is low. However, there are indications that consultation practice is evolving.

 The full report can be downloaded from the BERR website

 Workplace Employment Relations in the West Midlands

This report, prepared for the West Midlands Employment Relations Forum’s Steering Group by Duncan Adam and Paul Marginson, provides a first-ever profile of employment relations at workplaces across the West Midlands region. The evidence is drawn from the 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey (WERS2004), which is widely regarded as providing the most authoritative and comprehensive survey-based portrait of workplace employment practice in Britain. The report presents findings on a range of topics from West Midlands workplaces surveyed in WERS2004, and compares these with the national picture. The findings draw on responses from both managers and employees at these workplaces. The full report can be downloaded here.

 New structures, forms and processes of governance in European industrial relations

 Paul Marginson has recently co-authored a report, as one of a team led by Evelyne Léonard of the Catholic University of Louvain, for the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions on new structures, forms and processes of governance in European industrial relations. The study provides an analysis of the impact of new governance tools, such as forms of 'soft' regulation and the target-setting, benchmarking and peer review associated with the 'open method of coordination', on the different actors of the European-level industrial relations arena. The report, which was published in April 2007, can be downloaded from the Foundation's website.

 Submission to DTI review of workplace representatives’ facilities and facility time

 A note which draws on initial findings from a research project, co-sponsored by the DTI, Acas and the CIPD, investigating organisational responses to the Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) Regulations can be downloaded here.

 European Works Councils and transnational restructuring

 IRRU Associate Fellow Mark Carley and Mark Hall recently co-authored a report for the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions on European Works Councils (EWCs) and transnational restructuring. This reviews the academic literature on the role of EWCs in handling restructuring, examines the restructuring provisions included in agreements establishing EWCs and assesses the evidence on actual practice drawing on case studies previously carried out for the Foundation. The report was published in December 2006. The full report can be downloaded from the European Foundation website.

 Justice in the workplace: Why it is important and why a new public policy initiative is needed

 A report by Paul Edwards 'Justice in the workplace: Why it is important and why a new public policy initiative is needed' for the Work Foundation argues that the cause of justice at work will not be best served by introducing any new employment laws in the near future. Instead, what is needed is a new policy initiative aiming to encourage employers both to comply with existing laws and actively pursue a fairness at work agenda. The full report can be downloaded from the Work Foundation website.

 Temporary agency work

 A report by James Arrowsmith 'Temporary agency work in an enlarged European Union', for the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, explores a range of topics including the definition and extent of TAW, its regulation in the different countries, both by law and collective agreement, and the views of the social partners on developments in the sector. The report can be downloaded from the European Foundation website.

 What 'industrial relations' suggests should be at the heart of 'employee relations'

 Keith Sisson's response to Mike Emmott's CIPD Changing Agenda that asks 'What is employee relations?' can be downloaded here. An annex reviewing the state of the study of industrial relations can also be downloaded.

 Review of research into the impact of employment relations legislation
Linda Dickens and Mark Hall

Since 1997 there has been a significant extension in the legal regulation of the employment relationship. This report reviews research that has been undertaken into the impact of the post-1997 employment relations legislation. As well as highlighting key findings, it identifies the factors affecting impact/compliance, and suggests reasons for the relatively limited amount of primary research in this area. The present Government has emphasised the complementarities between the objectives of fairness/security and flexibility/competitiveness. The report indicates possible tensions in this but notes that the working out in practice of the balance and relationship between these two policy objectives remains to be investigated.

 The full report can be downloaded from the DTI website.