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IRRU's Impact and REF cases

Over five decades of empirical research and theoretical reflection on the ever-changing world of work, IRRU has been in the vanguard of emergent debates in the fields of industrial relations, employment, and human resource management.

IRRU has also made a central and substantive contribution to WBS’s mission to work in partnership with policy and practice to catalyse the impact of its work. In recent years, IRRU’s research has:

driven the policy agenda on the employment of disabled people, most recently via the Disability Employment Charter

helped protect public sector union representatives' facility time via the watering down of the facility time clause in the Trade Union Act

led public debate on the minimum wage and zero hours contracts

helped develop innovative international labour governance responses to the Rana Plaza disaster

shaped equality interventions in the arts sector

advanced women’s professional careers in Sri Lanka

helped facilitate effective engagement between the Social Partners in the metal and health sectors within European Sectoral Social Dialogue.

In addition, WBS’s co-provision of the secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Disability is provided from within IRRU.

REF Impact Cases

Two of the university's ten business and management studies impact cases for REF 2014 were from IRRU:

Informing Law and Practice: Information and Consultation of Employees

Mark Hall

The UK's adoption, and implementation in 2004, of the European Union's (EU) Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) Directive had profound implications for industrial relations in the UK, which historically had no provision for works councils (a representative structure where management meet with employee representatives to discuss working conditions). Professor Mark Hall's research on the impact of the ICE Regulations on organisations has had an impact on both policy and implementation of the Regulations at the UK and European levels. The outputs from the research have helped to inform UK policy-making, and supported significant European reviews of the legislation as well as contributing to improving professional practice through training and information.

Reducing Inequality in European Performing Arts

Deborah Dean

The research conducted by Dr Deborah Dean provided the first reliable benchmark study of how age and gender affects the employment realities of professional performers across Europe. The research has influenced the practices of professional bodies, resulting in trade union organisations changing their codes of practice and introducing new measures designed to address age and gender inequality. The research provided a concrete resource for international performers' unions to use in employer negotiations and contributed to political debate and led to a House of Commons Early Day motion on gender inequality in the arts. It also led to the launch of an online petition receiving over 10,000 public signatures, and triggered the creation and implementation of the EU Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee's Framework of Actions.