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Work and Equalities Institute

Regulation and Representation

This theme covers the question of employment regulation and forms of worker representation.

The University of Manchester has a long history of studying labour rights, voice at work and employment more generally.  Much of the research addresses major debates that are taking place on the impact of deregulation and regulatory change as well as the future role of employment regulation and representation in a context of labour market fragmentation and globalisation. 

Pavement by the Thames with Houses of Parliament in the background

Research expertise

The work around this theme investigates the theory, policy and practice of regulation and representation, and considers the need for new approaches to “re”-regulation, including new initiatives on labour rights enforcement, and the role of workers and trade unions in forging new forms of regulation and rights at work.  

Research covers areas such as:

  • international worker coordination and engagement within and around multinational corporations (e.g. Transnational Collective Agreements)
  • new forms of labour inspection and state intervention in terms of complex supply chains and outsourcing
  • the role of worker participation within the economy
  • trade union organising and renewal in relation to the changing nature of the workforce
  • new forms of economic organisation and technological developments.  

Issues such as training, health and safety, equality initiatives, social inclusion strategies, working time, forms of employee involvement and payment systems are the object of a range of research projects and papers.

In addition, there is a strong comparative dimension to these areas of research in terms of the role of the state in different national contexts, the forms of trade union/worker organisation development and renewal, and the evolving politics of equality and social inclusion in relation to work and employment.  The research expertise has culminated in a range of studies on the European and global context.