Skip to content
March 7, 2018 / Sian Moore

Tackling the gender pay gap

The Work & Employment Research Unit and the Diversity Interest Group is organising a joint seminar on tackling the gender pay gap. The seminar will take place on 21st Mar 2018, 3pm – 6pm, at Greenwich Campus (Hamilton House, 15 Park Vista, Greenwich, London SE10 9LZ). The seminar will look at how employers are responding to the new governmental reporting requirements and at new research from the IES on success in tackling the issue.


Please email Business School Events with your name, job title and organisation to attend.


Dr Duncan Brown heads the HR work at the Institute for Employment Studies. Duncan’s work covers pay and HR research, for example a recent study for the Office of Manpower Economics on the use of market pay supplements; client advisory work to employers including DCLG, the NHS, the Prince’s Trust and Lloyds Banking Group ; and government policy input, acting as an expert adviser on topics including pensions, gender pay and employee engagement. He has more than 30 years’ experience in pay and HR management, working for major consultancies such as Towers Perrin and Aon Hewitt, as well as 5 years as director of research and policy at CIPD

Jisha Hales is the policy lead for gender pay gap reporting in the public sector and the public sector equality duty. She is a member of the Equality Framework Team in the Government Equalities Office. The Government Equalities Office leads work on policy relating to women, sexual orientation and transgender equality. It is also responsible for a range of equalities legislation.

Lara Plaxton has over 14 years’ experience working within HR and heads up the HR function in the UK at FDM Group, a global IT Services provider. FDM was the 6th employer to register its gender pay gap data and has been a driving force in encouraging others to adopt the new legislation early. Lara is committed to ensuring an inclusive environment at FDM that fosters the diversity that has been critical to its success. She is also passionate about creating more meaningful experiences through enhanced digital capability, a more collaborative workforce and an environment that cultivates creativity and innovation. Lara also volunteers as a Board Trustee for Jigsaw4u.

August 22, 2017 / Sian Moore

New book: Marketization of employment services

Former WERU director Ian Greer has published a new book with Oxford University Press on the marketization of government-funded services for the unemployed. The marketization of employment services: Dilemmas of Europe’s work-first welfare states is co-authored with Karen Breidahl and Flemming Larsen from Aalborg and Matthias Knuth from Duisburg, and includes contributions from WERU members Graham Symon and Lisa Schulte. It is based on qualitative data from Britain, Denmark, and Germany gathered as part of the MESEC project funded by the Hans Boeckler Foundation.

For more information see the Marketization in Europe research blog and Oxford University Press website.

There will be a book launch in Greenwich in late autumn, date to be determined.

May 18, 2017 / Sian Moore

Employee Lay Members in Employment Tribunals in Great Britain, France and Germany Findings from a research project funded by the German trade union research foundation, the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung. Date: Tuesday 6 June 2017 Time: 11.00 – 16.45 Location: Queen Anne Court, (Room 063) University of Greenwich Old Royal Naval College, London SE10 9LS Speakers: Prof Sue Corby and Pete Burgess (Work & Employment Research Unit, University of Greenwich) Prof Laurent Willemez (University of Versailles) Prof Armin Höland (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg) Brian Doyle (President of Employment Tribunals E & W) RSVP to by Friday 19th May for this FREE conference, stating any dietary and access requirements.

December 15, 2016 / Sian Moore

New publications on whistleblower protection

On International Anti-corruption Day, PSI has released a report produced by Dr Wim Vandekerckhove & Arron Phillips of University of Greenwich  and other partners on: Checkmate to corruption: Making the case for a wide-ranging initiative on whistleblower protection – which contributes to the debate and provides arguments, evidence, and examples on how a robust protection for whistleblowers with the active support of trade unions is a major – if not the most important – tool to fight corruption.

Dr Wim Vandekerckhove has  also published a paper in La Revue des droits de l’homme on  Freedom of expression as the “broken promise” of whistleblower protection.

October 31, 2016 / Sian Moore

New skills for a skilled economy: the post-Brexit outlook

This seminar will cover the crisis in skills formation in the UK economy and the potential impact of Brexit. It will take place on Wednesday, 30th November 2016, from 3-6 pm at the University of Greenwich (Hamilton House). It features three expert speakers who will speak about the current skills shortages facing the UK labour market, the Government policies aimed to remedy them and the situation post-Brexit. Our speakers include Professor Ken Mayhew (University of Oxford and ex-economic director of the UK’s NEDC); Richard Meredith (University of Greenwich and previously employed in both the public employment service and private intermediary services) and Sue Fearns (Prospect – the trade union representing professional staff in the civil service and energy industry). 

Ken Mayhew (University of Oxford) will explore Alternative Pathways into the Labour Market in the UK.  Ken will argue that the current configuration of pathways into the labour market is massively sub-optimal.  The consequence is that there is widespread under-utilisation of skills and capabilities together with harmful distributional consequences.  He will go on to consider how policy makers might address the problems.

Ken Mayhew is Emeritus Professor of Education and Economic Performance at Oxford University, Emeritus Fellow in Economics at Pembroke College Oxford and Honorary Professor of Education and Economic Performance at Maastricht University.  Currently he is a member of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body.   He was Founding Director of SKOPE, an ESRC-funded multidisciplinary research centre on skills, knowledge and organisational performance.  Outside academia he served as Economic Director of the UK’s former National Economic Development Office.  Mayhew has published widely on labour economics, human resource management, the economics of education and policy analysis.  He is an editor of Oxford Economic Papers and The Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

Richard Meredith (University of Greenwich) will talk about Local Enterprise Partnerships. Richard’s paper will investigate the responsibilities and membership of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in England to assess the prospects for devolution of employment and skills policy. The paper argues that LEPs represent a fresh, market-driven attempt by government to alter the institutional framework for meeting local labour market needs through devolved, business-led bodies. However, the paper also shows that while LEPs assume devolved powers, their structure, resourcing and leadership are poorly aligned for the engagement of local employers. It is therefore argued that the prospects for effective devolution in the area of employment and skills are weak. Rather, it is argued, government employment and skills programmes are set to be dominated by a centralised contracting regime involving large private sector agents.

Richard Meredith is an MPhil/PhD student and part-time lecturer within the Work and Employment Relations Unit at the University of Greenwich.   His research interest is employers’ motives for recruiting the long term unemployed, particularly in the case of the UK.    He has 23 years public sector experience (including the UK Public Employment Service) and 13 years industry experience in Employer Intermediary Services (including Business Link and Train to Gain).

Sue Fearns (Prospect) will look at Professional skills and the union perspective. Sue will cover three main issues in her talk: STEM skills – the current position and the post-Brexit outlook; skills and professional development in the civil service; and skills and the ‘productivity puzzle’. Sue will also reflect on the role of Prospect as a trade union representing highly skilled professionals within the UK labour market.

Sue Fearns is Deputy General Secretary at Prospect, the union for professionals. Her responsibilities in Prospect include leading the union’s work on equal opportunities; legal services; skills; campaigning and communications; and on science, engineering and sustainability.  She is a member of the TUC General Council and Executive Committee, and is a board member of unionlearn, deputy chair of the Women’s Committee and a TUC Aid Trustee. She has been an active member of the Trade Union Sustainable Development Advisory Committee since its inception, and is the General Council’s lead on environment and sustainability. Sue is also Chair of Unions 21. Unions 21 provides an ‘open space’ for discussion on the future of the trade union movement and the world of work, helping to shape unions since 1993 by providing evidence, advice, new thinking and networks.She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a trustee of the Science Council.

This is an open seminar and all are invited but please can you inform us if you are planning to attend from outside the University of Greenwich by contacting Professor Geoff White, on


October 19, 2016 / Sian Moore

Radio podcast on musicians’ work and organizing

On 11 October 2016 WERE-affiliated Prof Ian Greer was interviewed in the radio discussing research findings on musicians from project TEMS. He appeared live for nearly an hour on the mid-day talk program Lunch with Labour on WOLB AM 1010 in Baltimore. The conversation ranged from what is unique about the job of musicians, the current wave of industrial action in US symphony orchestras, why most symphony musicians are not really a privileged elite, and the difficulties of trade union organizing and improving diversity in music.

Please visit the following link to listen to the podcast: Lunch with Labor podcast

September 22, 2016 / Sian Moore

Report from Blacklisting, Bullying & Blowing the Whistle conference

blacklisting-conference“The biggest difficulty we faced with the blacklisting and the undercover police campaigns, is that people think we live in a liberal democracy and things like that don’t happen here”: these are the words of John McDonnell, shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his keynote speech at the opening plenary of the Blacklisting, Bullying & Blowing the Whistle conference at the University of Greenwich co-hosted by Blacklist Support Group (BSG) and the Work & Employment Research Unit (WERU) last weekend.

The aim of the conference supported by New Internationalist and the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, was to expose the hidden underbelly of the modern workplace, where intrusive surveillance of workers is common and victimization of those prepared to stand up for their rights is widespread (but virtually ignored by the mainstream media). We certainly achieved that, with reports about the conference appearing in the press before, during and after the event.

The 4 core themes of the conference were: Blacklisting – Bullying – Whistleblowing – Police Surveillance. But the event was not just a conference, it was a book launch, a film premier and an art exhibition.

Speakers included: John McDonnell but also legal experts including; John Hendy QC, David Renton and Declan Owens, trade union leaders such as NUJ General Secretary, Michelle Stanistreet and ASGs; Gail,Cartmail (UNITE), Roger McKenzie (UNISON), Amanda Brown (NUT). Some of the UK’s leading academics in the field of work and whistleblowing were also in attendance such as Prof. Sian Moore, Prof. Keith Ewing, Prof. Phil Taylor, Prof. David Lewis, Dr Jack Fawbert and Dr Wim Vandekerckhove.

But it was the inclusion of activists on the panels that gave the conference its unique insight to the realities of the modern workplace and the weekend’s unique feel. From Roy Bentham and Dave Smith from the Blacklist Support Group, to Eileen Chubb and Dr Minh Alexander among many victimised whistleblowers speaking, plus Lee Jasper and Suresh Grover representing Black and Asian communities suffering under the austerity cuts and because of state surveillance.

Friday evening saw the film premier of the new ‘Blacklisted’ documentary by director Tom Wood (via Reel News) and the book launch of ‘Blacklisted: the secret war between big business and union activists’ by Dave Smith & Phil Chamberlain published by New Internationalist.

Art Against Blacklisting organised an installation of original works plus a photographic and art exhibition by supportive artists and photographers including works by Mike Huges, Shaun Dey, Guy Smallman, Jess Hurd, Zita Holbourne, Molly Cooper, Andrew Wiard, Mike Hughes, Lucy Parker and Joanne Fowler.

Follow this link to a gallery containing pictures from the overall conference.

The biggest news story of the weekend and the most memorable session in the conference related to undercover police surveillance of activists. The police spy known as ‘Carlo Neri’ was accused of inciting anti-racist campaigners to firebomb a charity that he claimed was run by an Italian fascist. This allegation appeared in the ‘Blacklisted’ book launched at the conference and made the national press. ‘Andrea’, the female activist who was deceived into a long term relationship with the undercover officer spoke in public for the very first time at the spycops plenary session at the conference, which was chaired by the BSG and Police Spies Out of Lives spokesperson, Helen Steel. Andrea’s emotional testimony was the most memorable part of the weekend.

McDonnell told the delegates to the conference “You tell us what you want a Corbyn Labour government to introduce, and I will make sure it gets discussed at the highest level”. We intend to do just that.

Below are just a few of the press and photo-journalism reports generated by from the conference:……/police-carlo-neri-accused-of-………/nssn-309-blacklisted-watch-the-f…/…/blacklisting-conference-lo……/60718029@N06/sets/72157672827306410…/nssn-309-blacklisted-watch-the-f…/…/…/film-review-blacklisted

BSG would like to say a ‘massive thank you’ to everyone who helped make the event possible. From the speakers, the University of Greenwich events staff, the artists and musicians.