WBS and IER ranked fifth in the UK after strong REF performance
As part of the Business & Management Unit of Assessment, Warwick Institute for Employment Research (IER) has been ranked 5th in the country for its research by the Times Higher Education after it analysed the UK’s Research Excellence Framework results. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the country’s system of assessing the quality of research undertaken by universities, with 128 higher education institutions having been assessed. Warwick’s Business & Management Unit of Assessment, which includes the prestigious Warwick University Business School (WBS), was judged to have a strong performance across the board, proving once again that it is among the country’s top universities for cutting edge research that has real-world impact. The Times Higher Education also ranked the Unit 4th for research environment, while 93% of the school’s research outputs were rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. The submission comprised of 365 research outputs such as papers in peer-reviewed academic journals, nine impact cases demonstrating the ‘real-world’ influence of the research and a 15,000-word statement on the research environment. Discover more hereLink opens in a new window.
ReWAGE recently published its policy briefing: ‘Beyond the National Living Wage – further proposals for addressing low pay’Link opens in a new window, which argues that improving conditions for those who are low paid should be at the heart of a socially just labour market policy. ReWAGE welcomed the government’s decision to increase the living wage, adjust the Universal Credit taper and its commitment to reduce the qualifying age for the National Living Wage – but stressed that more needs to be done. The paper puts forward six recommendations for changes in public policy to help the low-paid. During Mental Health Awareness Week (9-15 May) ReWAGE published its policy briefing: ‘Recovering Better – improving mental health in the workplace’Link opens in a new window, which tackles the urgent need to reduce rising levels of mental ill-health in the workplace and to help organisations retain and integrate employees with mental conditions. The paper proposes how this can be led by government policy, including setting a requirement for employers to report on work-related risk factors for mental health in their annual company reports.
In an exciting step forward in our efforts to quantify what makes a ‘good job’, Professor Peter Elias presented to BEIS officials on ReWAGE’s work to derive information from national data sources that can be used as proxy indicators for job quality. Government colleagues were impressed with what had been achieved so far, and keen for the work to continue.
As mentioned in the last IER newsletter, ReWAGE was liaising with the CIPD’s Flexible Working Task Force to see how it might give some support. This resulted in ReWAGE contributing suggestions on scope to the Task Force’s Call for Evidence on informal flexible working and the reactivating of the ReWAGE sub-group on flexibility to develop an evidence paper and policy brief.
Warwick IER's Peter DickinsonLink opens in a new window and Terence HogarthLink opens in a new window gave a presentation at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Apprenticeships meeting on 17th May 2022. The presentation was based on four apprenticeship research projects IER had undertaken since 2019 which sought employer views on the current apprenticeship programme. There are three main trends which are currently being worked through: the longer term impact of apprenticeship reforms in the 2000's, which led to a shift to older apprentices and higher level apprenticeships; impact of the apprenticeship levy introduced in 2017, which has exacerbated these trends but also led to an increase in take-up by larger firms (levy payers) and a reduction by smaller employers (non levy payers); and the short- and medium term impact of COVID-19. The briefing note that accompanies the presentation to the APPG can be downloaded from the IER's websiteLink opens in a new window.
IER is delighted to introduce its two new Research Fellows – Dr Emily Erickson and Dr Katharina Sarter. Both joined IER in May.
Dr Emily Erickson
Prior to joining IER, Emily EricksonLink opens in a new window was an Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at Alabama A&M University, where she taught in the graduate and undergraduate planning programmes. While in Alabama, Emily carried out a survey of workplace experiences, job quality, and racial equity in manufacturing facilities located in the American South. Emily earned a PhD in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she worked on several projects examining job quality and workplace equity among immigrant and low-wage workers. Her doctoral thesis examined civic engagement among undocumented Americans and her masters thesis analysed local laws seeking to regulate informal immigrant labour.
Dr Katharina Sarter
Dr Eva Katharina SarterLink opens in a new window is a political scientist with expertise in public policies relating to employment, regulation of labour, public services, and comparative research. Katharina’s recent and current research focuses on the use of public procurement as a tool for the regulation of labour domestically as well as on international supply chains and as a lever to promote social policy goals. Katharina is currently part of the ESRC funded project ‘”Buying Social Justice” through procurement: An examination of the use of public procurement for advancing employment equality in UK construction’. Before joining IER, Katharina worked in Germany, Scotland, and Wales.
Humanizing work in the digital age
This new article uses lessons from past workplace experiments to integrate machines and people to identify six principles for ensuring the successful introduction of new digital technology in workplaces. The article is available on the journal's websiteLink opens in a new window. Guest, D., Knox, A. and Warhurst, C. (2022) Humanizing work in the digital age: Lessons from socio-technical systems and quality of working life initiatives. Human Relations.