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Spotlight on Professor Jill Rubery (Alliance Manchester Business School)

ReWAGE is fortunate in having some of the UK’s foremost thinkers on its Expert Group, drawn from leading universities and research organisations across the UK. Between them they have a huge breadth of knowledge, covering such subjects as the labour market, job quality, employment relations and the changing nature of work.

This week we are pointing the spotlight onto ReWAGE expert Professor Jill Rubery of the University of Manchester who is our authority on gender equality and employment in the UK and across the EU.


Jill is Professor of Comparative Employment Systems and the Executive Director of the Work and Equalities Institute at Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester. She has worked extensively for the European Commission and for the International Labour Organisation.

Jill has worked at Manchester since 1989, first at the Manchester School of Management at UMIST and since 2004 in Alliance Manchester Business School. She previously worked at the Department of Applied Economics at Cambridge University. In 2006 she was elected a fellow of the British Academy and an emeritus fellow of Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge.

Area of expertise:

Jill’s research interests are in comparative employment systems with a particular focus on gender. She has researched and published widely on topics such as labour market regulation policies, minimum wages; new forms of work and flexibility; women's employment and women's pay; employers' working-time policies; and international comparative employment systems.

Why Jill became a ReWAGE expert:

Jill joined ReWAGE as she has always had an active interest in employment policy issues, from her first book in 1982 on why we needed a national minimum wage.

What achievement makes Jill most proud:

Jill’s most important achievement has been the fostering of interdisciplinary research on work and employment over 30 years in the University of Manchester and the successful development of many early career researchers, several of whom are now internationally-regarded full professors.

Recent achievements:

In 2019 Jill was awarded the Sage Best Paper Prize: Work, Employment and Society and elected a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Current projects

Jill has three current projects: since 2020 she has been working as part of the ESRC’s Digital Futures at Work Research Centre on research into the experiences of digitilisation at work during and in the post Covid period in 3 large organisations; in 2021 she undertook research for the ILO into the role of collective bargaining in safeguarding and revaluing frontline workers during Covid; and in 2022 she is starting work on issues of gender and productivity for the ESRC’s Productivity Institute.

Other interests:

Jill founded the European Work and Employment Centre in 1994, which in 2017 was subsumed into the new Work and Equalities Institute; Jill became its first director and still sits in its management committee as executive director since stepping down as director in 2021. Her research has been funded by the ESRC, the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Leverhulme Trust, the ILO and the European Commission amongst others. For many years she coordinated the gender and employment expert group for the EU and she is a member of the ILO’s steering committee for its Regulating Decent Work conference.

Recent publications

ReWAGE’s Expert Group is uniquely placed to offer the government informed practical advice and policy recommendations to support its strategic response to the recovery and renewal of work and employment in the UK as it tackles the impact of Covid-19.

Mon 27 Feb 2023, 13:42