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Leeds University Business School
University of Leeds
Centre for Employment Relations Innovation and Change (CERIC)
Newsletter July 2021
CERIC Research Away Day

Our CERIC Away Day took place on
7 July 2021 on campus and Zoom
and became the first hybrid event 
for CERIC - with half of the centre members attending in person and the other half joining remotely.

We would like to thank Nexus for providing excellent audio-visual conference facilities and for their hospitality. 
The Away Day Agenda covered a wide range of topics:
  • a review of the CERIC ongoing research projects and the potential for further research collaborations; 
  • an update from Professor Mark Stuart, Pro Dean for Research and Innovation and CERIC Director, on the Research Excellence Framework and the new Leeds University Business School research strategy;
  • plans for collaborative projects and funding applications;
  • a review of CERIC current activities, such as conferences and workshops, the seminar/webinar series, the reading group and Big Ideas sessions, blogging, Twitter activity, podcasts and external engagements;
  • development of working partnerships with world-leading research teams and scholars in different countries. 
Best of luck to our postdocs in their new jobs
Dr Cheryl Hurst has left CERIC in May 2021 to start a new role as Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour and Research Methods at Henley Business School.
Dr Maisie Roberts has left CERIC at the end of June 2021 to start a new job at Leeds City Council as an Employment and Skills Officer. 
Promotions and appointments

Congratulations to Dr Ioulia Bessa
who has been promoted to Associate Professor. Ioulia's research focus includes non-standard forms of employment and their connection to low pay, insecurity, employment/unemployment in insecure and recessionary contexts. 

New appointment

In February 2021 our final year postgraduate researcher Felix Schulz started as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Digit Research Centre.
A warm welcome to our new postgraduate researchers 
At CERIC we organise and host various activities throughout the year: seminars, workshops, conferences, book launches and discussion groups.
CERIC Annual Doctoral Conference
On 21 May 2021 CERIC hosted its 10th Annual Doctoral Conference "The Future of Work in a Post-Covid World", which was organised by our postgraduate researchers Bianca-Ioanidia Mirea, Rebecca Jiggens and Yuxin Wang.

The online format of the conference enabled us to welcome delegates from around the world, including South Africa, Malaysia, India, China and other European countries such as Germany and Portugal. The conference was kicked off by Professor Mark Stuart (CERIC Founding Director) who delivered a welcome speech and eloquently introduced CERIC's key research areas and the recently ESRC-funded Digital Futures at Work Centre co-led by the University of Leeds and the University of Sussex. Following this, the keynote speakers Dr Ioulia Bessa and Dr Charles Umney (University of Leeds) presented the findings of the Leeds Index of Platform Labour Protest project on instances of protests by platform workers at a global level.

The conference had a jam-packed Programme with engaging sessions covering topics such as work and life in the gig economy, HRM, women's experiences of atypical work and many more. All sessions have been proudly chaired by CERIC PGRs and ECRs. The conference ended with the announcement of the three award winners, whom we warmly congratulate!
Prize winners
1st prize: Jo Burgess (University of Leeds), 'Gender segregation in vocational education: the structural, the individual, the inertia'

2nd prize: Tess Herrmann (University of York), 'The interconnectivity of the sex industry'
3rd prize: Joanna Octavia (University of Warwick), 'Protests in the digital age: the organisation and mobilisation of platform-based motorcycle taxi drivers in Indonesia'
CERIC Spring 2021 Webinar Series
In this series, coordinated by Dr Sundeep Aulakh, we continued to showcase the Centre's diverse research interests and sustained record of research on social inequalities, voice and representation and digital futures of work.

We also welcomed some outstanding guest presenters.
Watch the recording of these webinars by clicking on the titles
To receive notifications about our forthcoming events, please email with a request to join our Mailing List.

Research grants awarded
Helen Norman was awarded an ESRC grant under the Secondary Data Analysis Initiative exploring the impact of fathers' childcare involvement on children's educational attainment as they progress through primary school in England. Helen is PI of the grant worth just under £300k and the grant includes three CIs from Manchester.

Gabriella Alberti (PI), Chris Forde, Jo Cutter, Ioulia Bessa, Zyama Ciupijus and also Gary Graham from Management and Eleonora Morganti from Transport/Food studies, were awarded £972k by ESRC for their project titled 'Labour mobility in transition: a multi-actor study of the re-regulation of migrant work in 'low-skilled' sectors'.

Andy Charlwood, along with Lynda Song, Ahmed Mostafa and Ola Irnazarow (Management Division), secured a new UKRI grant (circa £338k) looking at the experiences of BAME NHS staff throughout the pandemic and consider how the NHS can better develop culturally appropriate and inclusive HRM practices that contribute towards BAME staff feeling supported and valued in the light of their experiences.

Jo Cutter was selected to take part in the British Academy's environment initiative focused on building international interdisciplinary collaborations between researchers and policymakers to build the principles of 'Just Transition' into the economic and social transformations that address climate breakdown. 

Jennifer Tomlinson and Danat Valizade are part of a £427k project 'Equality, Diversity & Inclusion in Highways England Supply Chain' funded by Highway England.

Jo Cutter was successful in leading a bid to the British Academy's environment initiative focused on building international interdisciplinary collaborations between researchers and policymakers to build the principles of 'Just Transition' with a project titled 'The Futures of Work and the Just Transition' exploring three themes: With & Beyond the Industrial Worker, (Re)productive Work and Non-Human Labour and Local Just Transitions - Role of Place in Sustainability and Workers in Place-Making. 

Watch the video, in which Cheryl Hurst talks to Helen Norman about her 2020 paper that explores the relationship between fathers' childcare involvement and mothers' returns to employment post-birth. Helen discusses the key findings of her paper and reflects on what this means for policy and practice around fathers' caregiver roles.

The reference for the paper is: Norman, H. (2020) Does paternal involvement in childcare influence mothers' employment trajectories during the early stages of parenthood in the UK? Sociology Vol 54(2): 329-345

Journal Articles

Brooks J, Grugulis I, Cook H. 2021. Unlearning and Consent in the UK Fire and Rescue Service. Human Relations.

Butterick M, Charlwood A. 2021. HRM and the COVID-19 Pandemic: How can we stop making a bad situation worse?. Human Resource Management Journal. 

Haunch K, Thompson C, Arthur A, Edwards P, Goodman C, Hanratty B, Meyer J, Charlwood A, Valizade D, Backhaus R, Verbeek H, Hamers J, Spilsbury K. 2021. Understanding the staff behaviours that promote quality for older people living in long term care facilities: a realist review. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 

Gillespie T, Watt P, Hardy K. 2021. Surplus to the city: Austerity urbanism, displacement and 'letting die'. Environment and Planning. 

Jansen E, Javornik J, Brummel A, Yerkes MA. 2021. Central-local tensions in the decentralization of social policies: street-level bureaucrats and social practices in the Netherlands. Social Policy and Administration. 

Kirkpatrick, I, Aulakh, S, Muzio, D. (forthcoming) The Evolution of Professionalism as a Mode of Regulation: Evidence from the United States. Work, Employment and Society.  

Krachler N, Greer I, Umney C. 2021. Can public healthcare afford marketization? Market principles, mechanisms, and effects in five health systems. Public Administration Review. 

Schulz F, Valizade D, Charlwood A. 2021. The effect of intra-workplace pay inequality on employee trust in managers: Assessing a multilevel moderated mediation effect model. Human Relations.   

Stuart M, Spencer DA, Mclachlan CJ, Forde C. 2021. COVID-19 and the uncertain future of HRM: Furlough, job retention and reform. Human Resource Management Journal.

Book Chapters

Aulakh, S. (forthcoming) Accountants versus Lawyers: Comparing the Money-men with the Monied-(gentle) men. In Abel, R., Hammerslev O., Sommerlad H. and Schultz, U. (Eds.) Lawyers in 21st-Century Societies: Vol. II. Hart Publishing.  


'Furloughing and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in the UK: managers experiences and perspectives', by Professors Mark Stuart, David Spencer and Chris Forde of Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds, and Dr Christopher J McLachlan of Cranfield Business School. Read more about the Report here. You can download a copy of the Report here.
Professor Vera Trappmann has been appointed a Topic Editor of Sustainability

Sustainability is an international, cross-disciplinary, scholarly, peer-reviewed and open-access journal of environmental, cultural, economic, and social sustainability of human beings. It provides an advanced forum for studies related to sustainability and sustainable development and is published online by MDPI. 

Vera has also been appointed to be a Member of the Executive Committee of the Priestley International Centre for Climate.

Vera Trappmann and Jo Cutter have both been appointed as members of the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission Research and Evidence Panel.

In March 2021 Gabriella Alberti presented at the workshop "Re/defining essential work through migration during the COVID-19 Pandemic".  

The event was part of an SSRC / The Wenner-Gren Global Initiatives project on redefining essential work through the prism of Migration.

The videos of the migration workshop plenary sessions are available here.

Selected Media Coverage
11 January 2021 - Dr Kate Hardy featured in an article for The Guardian, highlighting the safety concern of nurseries remaining open in England despite rising Covid-19 infections.

28 January 2021 - In a Guardian article Professor Jennifer Tomlinson discussed the risks posed to early-years workers, who continue to work without PPE or priority to receive the vaccine.

25 March 2021 - Professor Mark Stuart featured in a BBC Worklife article, titled 'The bosses who want us back in the office', where he provided expert commentary on the different approaches to remote-working taken by the industries.

10 May 2021 - Professor Chris Forde commented in the international business media on the controversial practice by some firms of 'firing and rehiring' during the pandemic.

10 May 2021 - Professor Vera Trappmann commented in an article ''More than a job': the meal delivery co-ops making the gig economy fairer' published by The Guardian on how worker-led delivery collectives are springing up to reclaim control from corporate platforms like Deliveroo.

20 June (Fathers' Day) - Dr Helen Norman appeared in a slot on BBC Sunday Morning Live. She was interviewed about how fathers' roles have changed over the last 50 years. View the clip on the project website

Follow us on Twitter, where CERIC academics, associates and visitors share their views on the current issues in the field of employment, future of work and labour markets. 



Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change

Leeds University Business School,
The University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT

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