The Work and Equalities Institute runs a wide variety of different events and activities, and collaborates with a range of stakeholders.

Forthcoming events


COVID-19: Considering the effect on older workers

Wednesday 19th August 2020
15:00 - 16:00

Dr Sheena Johnson, Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester:
Sheena will give some brief background to how older workers are potentially disproportionately affected given their increased risk to COVID-19, and consider what support employers can put in place to mitigate this. She will then outline what academic research can tell us about this and also outline what research is in progress / being planned.

Dr Emily Andrews, Senior Evidence Manager at Centre for Ageing Better:
Emily will discuss the emerging picture of the impact of this recession on workers is u-shaped across the life course: the youngest workers being hit hardest, but the oldest (working-age) workers also seeing a substantial hit to their earnings and hours. Emily Andrews from the Centre for Ageing Better will present findings from new research produced in partnership with the Learning and Work Institute – on the impact of this recession on workers in their 50s and 60s, what we can learn from previous responses to unemployment among this age-group, and what needs to be done next to ensure that progress on 50+ employment does not go into reverse.

Dr Mat Ainsworth, Assistant Director – Employment (Policy, Strategy & Delivery) Greater Manchester Combined Authority:
Mat will talk about the work of the GM Ageing Hub on tackling labour market inequalities faced by older people; the risks and potential opportunities presented by COVID-19 and the launch of an innovative local pilot in partnership with Ageing Better and DWP.

Please register via Zoom.
Your confirmation email will contain the link you will need to use on the day.

Events relating to COVID-19

Members of the Work and Equalities Institute have been involved in a number of webinars discussing the effects of the pandemic on society.

MICRA/AMBS webinar: COVID-19: considering the impact on older workers

Dr Sheena Johnson (Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester), Dr Emily Andrews (Centre for Ageing Better) and Dr Mat Ainsworth (Greater Manchester Combined Authority Ageing Hub) discussed how older workers are potentially disproportionately affected given their increased risk to COVID-19, how the recession is seeing a substantial hit to their earnings and hours and the labour market inequalities faced by older people. They considered how current and future research will inform responses and opportunities presented by COVID-19.

MICRA/AMBS webinar and podcast, 19th August 2020

Is remote working the future of work?

The COVID-19 crisis has thrown light on both the positive and negative aspects of home and remote working. On the one hand, workers have shown great resilience and resourcefulness in adapting to the challenges, demonstrating their commitment in the industries and sectors where it has been possible to do so. Indeed, as technology increasingly enables remote working, some employers are now considering a longer or even permanent shift to homeworking.

Tony Dundon, Jonny Gifford (Senior Advisor for Organisational Behaviour at the CIPD) and Natasha Owusu (Policy & Campaigns Support Officer for Equalities at the TUC), discussed the pros, cons and sustainability of remote working.

Alliance Manchester Business School webinar and podcast, 14 July 2020

Women and Work

This University of Manchester webinar, part of the Doing Things Differently series, examined the gendered impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking in detail at the world of work, our academics discuss the care burden on women throughout the crisis and the implications of the economic fallout. The panel address the solutions needed to ensure that women can look forward to a fairer world.

Jill Rubery took part, commenting that “There’s a very high risk that women will be losing employment once job retention schemes and furlough comes to an end”

University of Manchester webinar and podcast, 25 June 2020

Valuing workers: how do cities need to change in the post-pandemic economy?

Coronavirus has shone a spotlight on many of the inequalities that some people face in the workplace. On average, the wealthier you are the less likely you are to come into close contact with others, and people in cities in southern England are more likely to be able to work from home than those in the north – shielding them from the health risks posed by the pandemic. Yet even before the virus hit, the labour market was changing quickly. Automation means fewer workers will need to carry out manual activities and technology theoretically makes it easier for office-based workers to work from home.

Tony Dundon took part in this webinar with Elena Magrini, Senior Analyst for Centre for Cities.

Centre for Cities webinar and podcast, 25 June 2020

The future after furlough

On Wednesday 10 June Jill Rubery took part in the CIPD Festival of Work, joining a panel discussing 'The future after furlough'.

COVID-19 - Avoiding an employment cliff-edge

With more than six million UK workers now having their wages paid by the state and 800,000 employers using the government's job retention scheme, just how viable is the scheme in the long-run? Is it feasible to extend the scheme beyond its current cut-off date of the end of June, and if so how should the government be looking to adapt and extend the scheme further? Likewise, what future shape should other employment protection measures taken in the wake of COVID-19, such as help for the self-employed, now take as we come out of lockdown?

Jill Rubery took part in an Original Thinking webinar debating the viability of the government's job retention scheme in the long-run, and related questions.

AMBS Webinar and podcast, 20 May 2020

Seminar series 2019-20

July 2020

Work & Equalities webinar - Engaging with employers to reduce workplace inequalities

Wednesday 15 June 2020

Engaging with employers to reduce workplace inequalities for parents and carers: the case of the flexible working toolkit
Liz Atkinson, senior project officer, and Rebecca Harris, employer engagement officer, Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisations.

Liz Atkinson and Rebecca Harris discussed the approach of the GMCVO to promoting flexible working for parents and carers returning to the workforce in Greater Manchester. The session introduced the flexible working toolkit that GMCVO co-produced with a range of employers and returners in the Greater Manchester region. The toolkit can be found here.

Read more about the webinar and speakers

The presentation slides are here.

Wednesday 27th November 2019

Fungibility and social difference: (re)producing migrant labour's differential 'disposability' in the Czech Republic's export manufacturing sector.
Dr Hannah Schling, Lecturer in Human Geography, Queen Mary University of London

Wednesday 13th November 2019

Law and legalities in everyday working life: towards a co-constitutive theory
Dr Eleanor Kirk, Research Associate, University of Glasgow School of Law

Read more about the seminar and speaker

Wednesday 30th October 2019

Worker power is a relationship, not a resource: Evidence and implications for practice on and beyond the docks
Dr Katy Fox-Hodess, Lecturer in Employment Relations, Sheffield University Management School

Read more about the seminar and speaker

Organisational Psychology Group with the Work and Equalities Institute

Date: Tuesday 22nd October 2019

The impact of work on (un)healthy ageing: How to reduce social inequalities?
Professor Yohannes Siegrist, University of Düsseldorf, Germany


ManReg with the Work and Equalities Institute

Thursday 10th October 2019

A poverty of labour law? Minimum wage erosion in care work
Professor Lydia Hayes, Kent Law School, University of Kent

Read more about the seminar and speaker

Wednesday 9th October 2019

Levelling the playing field: Towards a critical-social perspective on digital entrepreneurship
Dr Angela Martinez Dy, Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Loughborough University London

Read more about the seminar and speaker

Annual Lecture 2020

Unfortunately, restrictions on international travel have meant that our speaker, Professor Fang Lee Cooke, is no longer able to join us. With this in mind, we have taken the decision to cancel the event, with a view to rescheduling later in the year.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and we will be in touch once we have confirmed a new date.

Third Annual Lecture

Can workers be organised if the state isn’t?

Digitalisation, work and employment in emerging and developing economies

Professor Fang Lee Cooke
Monash Business School, Monash University

Tuesday 24th March
1pm to 2.30pm, AMBS Eddie Davies Lecture Theatre

Lunch at 12pm in The Hive


The role of the state in work and employment has traditionally been examined primarily at the macro level, focusing on its role as a regulator and employer in the context of employment relations. The role of the state, directly and indirectly, in shaping work and employment in the digitally-enabled business environment has remained insufficiently understood, particularly in less well-regulated economies. Informed by the recently renewed research interest in the role of the state and governance theory, and drawing on empirical evidence of recent development in the emerging and developing economy context, this presentation explores the role of the state as a key institutional actor in shaping the adoption of digital technology at macro and micro levels, with implications for work, employment and human resource management across different sectors and segments of workforce. It examines the role of the state in promoting the adoption of digital technology in businesses on the one hand, and how its social policy may impact firms’ decision in their automation and labour strategy on the other, with broader and, in some cases, significant social implications in the longer term. While not advocating statism, this presentation calls for more research attention to develop a more nuanced understanding of the diverse roles of the state at various levels and across business sectors in the light of its strategic goals and capability. It also highlights the need for state intervention in regulating new forms of labour strategy, such as that found in the digital platform economy in China.

About the speaker

Fang Lee Cooke is Associate Dean (Graduate Research) and Distinguished Professor of Human Resource Management (HRM) and Asia Studies at Monash Business School, Monash University, Australia. She is also a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. Fang’s recent research projects include: Chinese firms in Africa and their employment/HRM practices and labour relations; employee resilience, HRM practices and engagement in the finance sector in the Asian region; the evolution of industrial relations and implications for foreign firms in South Asia; organizational practices and management models in the care sector; HRM in the care sector, including healthcare, aged care and disability care; digitalization and implications for skill, employment and HRM; and low carbon growth and future of work.

PGR events

Awaiting content

Policy Discussion

Policy Discussion

The next Policy Discussion will take place on Wednesday 20th May at 14:30.

Further details will follow