Category archives for Employment

Growth and degradation in UK apparel manufacturing

Low paid, precarious and informal employment is commonplace in a sector shaped by new regulatory regimes and global manufacturing trends How is it that wages in the apparel manufacturing sector in the UK have been pushed well below the national minimum wage, and basic work and employment standards are frequently violated? Even in one of the industries most exposed to … Continue reading

9 August 2016 by
Categories: Employment, Politics and policy, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment | Tags: | Leave a comment

When work doesn’t work

Sophie Moullin

The left’s focus on full employment fails to address the realities of work and family in the twenty-first century ‘The clue is in the name’, Ed Miliband said, Labour is ‘the party of work’.  The previous UK Labour party leader fought the 2015 general election on a manifesto that promised ‘to reward hard work’.  Yet soon after the election one … Continue reading

20 July 2016 by
Categories: Economics, Employment, SPERI Comment, Tax | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Austerity has transformed the meaning and morality of work in the UK

Craig Berry

Measuring economic success through levels of employment obscures the unsustainable and oppressive nature of the UK’s recovery Work has of course always been central to capitalist organisation, since the ability of capital to extract surplus value from labour is at the essential core of accumulation processes. In post-crisis UK, however, work has become not only integral to the function of … Continue reading

19 July 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, Economics, Employment, Europe and the EU, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

After Brexit where next for UK employment rights?

Jason Heyes

The new Conservative government could rewrite employment rights, what happens now will depend on whether pragmatism or ideology prevails The potential consequences of Brexit for UK employment rights was a prominent issue in the debate that preceded the referendum.  Many employment entitlements are underpinned by European directives that establish a basic floor of rights for all EU and EEA member … Continue reading

14 July 2016 by
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Rethinking Recovery: Labour market exploitation and austerity in the UK

Stopping labour exploitation requires effective regulation of the labour market, not scapegoating migrant and vulnerable workers Explaining the Conservative government’s decision to appoint a Director of Labour Market Enforcement, Immigration Minister James Brokenshire declared: ‘Exploiting or coercing people into work is not acceptable.  It is not right that unscrupulous employers can force people to work or live in very poor … Continue reading

5 July 2016 by
Categories: Economics, Employment, Human rights, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Rethinking Recovery: Recovery for whom?

Genevieve LeBaron

Corporate profits are soaring, but so is labour exploitation. Who is the ‘recovery’ really benefiting? Has the labour market ‘recovered’ since the 2008-09 financial crisis? The answer to this question depends on whom you ask. The labour market is a central part of the UK’s ‘economic recovery’ narrative advanced by political and economic elites. In his address on June 27th … Continue reading

4 July 2016 by
Categories: Employment, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Resisting Labour Reforms in France

Heather Connolly

The current industrial action will test the ‘reactionary radicalism’ of French unions and the Government’s ability to introduce reforms On 4th November 2015, France’s labour minister, Myriam El Khomri, launched reforms designed to rewrite the labour code.  France’s labour code is more than 3,500 pages long in its latest edition, plus vast amounts of supplementary case law.  This fact makes … Continue reading

16 June 2016 by
Categories: Employment, Europe and the EU, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Trade Unions | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Authoritarian but Flexible: Turkey and recent labour market reforms

Mehmet

The AKP’s reforms to ‘flexibilise’ the labour market will weaken workers’ rights and further consolidate authoritarian neoliberalism in Turkey In the last few years, ‘authoritarianism’ has been used widely by mainstream academic circles, Western media and international civil society organisations to define the character of the political regime under the AKP (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi or the Justice and Development … Continue reading

7 June 2016 by
Categories: Economics, Employment, Europe and the EU, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Facing up to the impending UK referendum on the European Union

Tony Payne

The best way to counter the threat constituted by the referendum is to show that the EU can be remade to work better in the democratic service of its citizens At some point during the course of 2016, either in the summer or the autumn, it looks as if that fateful moment when the British people decide whether or not … Continue reading

5 January 2016 by
Categories: Economics, Employment, Euro, Europe and the EU, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who governs local economies?

Cities like Sheffield need more skilled jobs, but delivering them has to be both a national and a local priority SPERI’s latest Brief provides a snapshot assessment of three English city-region economies – Sheffield, Brighton and Oxford – in the period since the financial crisis.  The Brief highlights significant differences between Sheffield City Region’s economy and the two southern regions, … Continue reading

24 November 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, Economics, Employment, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Corbynomics: Part 1

Andrew Gamble

Although sharing many of the biases of the ‘alternative economic strategy’ developed on the left in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s, Corbyn’s economic programme is as yet no more than a pale reflection of the ideas of that era Corbynomics is high on aspiration, low on detail. The aspirations were set out in a short document produced by the … Continue reading

3 November 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, Debt, Economics, Employment, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The political difficulties of ‘Corbynomics’

The problems are not really the economics at all, but much more the politics A month ago nobody had heard of ‘Corbynomics’.  Today Google records 174,000 search results.  It is becoming difficult to escape the term in any form of media.  If Jeremy Corbyn wins the Labour leadership election, its contents and claims will shape political debate in the UK … Continue reading

3 September 2015 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Debt, Economics, Employment, Political theory, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 comment

Variations in austerity-based reform

Tom Hastings

PIIGS and GIPSIs may appear to face common problems, but we should always respect the uniqueness of each country’s particular crisis For well-documented reasons the Greek political economy has received unprecedented attention in recent months, fuelled not least by the possibility of ‘Grexit’ and the potential impacts of this on both Greek society and the wider Eurozone. It is worth … Continue reading

26 August 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, Employment, Europe and the EU, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The complexity of securing a pay rise for Britain

Sarah Brown

The collection of essays recently published by the Resolution Foundation offers a range of innovative solutions In the context of signs of economic recovery, the recent publication of a collection of short essays by the Resolution Foundation that explore a wide range of themes related to securing wage recovery in Britain is both timely and welcome.  Given the well-documented, recent … Continue reading

16 July 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, Economics, Employment, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Labour and the ideology of aspiration

Matthew Donoghue

The party’s attempt to promote some relatively centre-left policies during the general election was contradicted by its acceptance of other dominant right-wing discourses In the aftermath of an election defeat described by some as the ‘greatest crisis’ the party has ever faced, many key Labour personalities have already offered their analysis of where things went wrong.  One argument that gained … Continue reading

8 July 2015 by
Categories: Economics, Employment, Politics and policy, Rethinking Recovery, Social science, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Evaluating the first three months of the Syriza government in Greece

‘Politics is not the art of the possible.  It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.’ – J. K. Galbraith The Syriza-led coalition government, which was the outcome of the Greek national elections on 25 January 2015, has just completed three months in office.  As its deliberations with the institutions (the so-called troika) are now entering their most … Continue reading

6 May 2015 by
Categories: Employment, Europe and the EU, Finance, Inequality, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Job creation under the Coalition government

Jason Heyes

There is plenty of devil in the detail of its ‘1000 jobs a day’ claim Since George Osborne’s Autumn Statement in 2014, senior figures in the Coalition government (and particularly those from the Conservative Party) have repeatedly claimed that the government has created, on average, 1000 jobs for every day it has been in power. The statistic has been trotted … Continue reading

30 April 2015 by
Categories: Economics, Employment, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The (in)significance of home-based business

The entrepreneurial challenge is really one of economic organisation, of fostering high-growth firms An Englishman’s home is renowned as his castle.  However, the Government’s Small Business Survey published recently again shows the growing number of home-based businesses.   While such businesses have been referred to as ‘invisible businesses’, of the c.4.5million enterprises in the UK it is estimated that today up … Continue reading

28 April 2015 by
Categories: Economics, Employment, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: | 1 comment

Votes for vocational education?

Sir Keith Burnett

Through advanced apprenticeships, universities and industry can unite to manufacture a more sustainable future for the UK economy In the run up to the General Election, British political parties are vying to show their vision for economic growth, and their support for the development of the vocational skills which will support it. All agree there is a problem, bemoan the … Continue reading

24 March 2015 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Economics, Employment, Social science, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , | 1 comment

Quantifying employment protection

Thomas Hastings

Although it trumpets the benefits of a low employment protection rate, the OECD utilises a flawed methodology for measuring employment protection legislation Last year the Secretary-General of the OECD, Angel Gurria, cited low rates of employment protection governing the UK labour market as pivotal to reducing unemployment and enhancing the economy in the aftermath of the financial crash.  UK figures … Continue reading

21 January 2015 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Economics, Employment, Europe and the EU, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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