Wednesday 25 January 2017

This seminar considers the mechanisms for tackling low pay in the UK, both statutory and voluntary. While the National Minimum Wage established in 1998 continues, from 2016 a new 25 year-old 'National Living Wage' rate was introduced by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. The impact of that change has yet to be fully researched but we have two presentations on initial research being conducted for the Low Pay Commission.

Speakers and Presentations

Ken Mulkearn, Incomes Data Research

Ken will present on the the findings from a survey of employers for the Low Pay Commission about their implementation of the NLW. It looked in particular it looked at the effects of the NLW, now and in future, on pay and conditions, whether workforce profiles might change as result of the age threshold, the extent of effects on organisation of work and productivity measures and current and potential effects on costs, profits and prices. Ken Mulkearn is a founder of Incomes Data Research (IDR), established in 2015. IDR monitors pay and conditions developments across the economy, and reports on these in its regular Pay Climate e-bulletin. The organisation also conducts surveys of pay and conditions in specific sectors and labour markets and carries out a range of contract work for external clients in both the private and public sectors, including pay and benefits benchmarking, pay club surveys, job evaluation, and research on a variety of aspects of reward policy. Prior to founding IDR, he was Head of Pay and Research at Incomes Data Services (IDS), Ken speaks to a wide range of audiences on pay issues. He holds an MSc in social research methods from the London School of Economics, where he also took modules in industrial relations. His primary degree is from Trinity College, Dublin. For more information on IDR see or 

Professor Sian Moore, University of Greenwich

Sian's presentation will explore the implications of non-standard employment contracts for hours and the organisation of working time and the consequent impact the introduction of the NLW (if any) may have on workers on non-standard employment contracts. It does so in the context of the increase in zero hours, variable hours, guaranteed hours contracts and misclassified self-employment' (Dean, 2016; ONS, 2016). The presentation considers the possibility that with competition on the basis of low pay entrenched, there is some anticipation that the NLW will encourage more employers to substitute zero hours and variable hours contracts for 'regular' ones, notably at the lower end of the labour market (e.g. Philpott cited in The Guardian 02/09/2015). The presentation draws upon current research on homecare and logistics as well as the early stages of research for the Low Pay Commission. Sian Moore is Professor of Employment Relations and Human Resource Management and Director of the Work and Employment Research Unit (WERU) at the University of Greenwich. Her research centres on the relationship between gender and class, consciousness and activism. She has also published on statutory trade union recognition and trade union learning, equality reps and the British Airways dispute 2009-11. Her current research focus is work and employment in the logistics sector and on the pay and conditions of homecare workers.

Katherine Chapman, Living Wage Campaign

Katherine's presentation will provide an overview of the Living Wage and the Foundation, where we are now and the reported benefits of the Living Wage for employees and businesses. Katherine Chapman joined the Living Wage Foundation as Director in March 2016. She has a background in working with industry leaders and policy makers to achieve change. Before joining the Foundation she was Assistant Director at the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, a public body providing strategic leadership on employment and skills issues in the UK where she led on strategies to boost productivity, wages and social mobility. Previously Katherine was Head of Education and Skills at Policy Connect, a cross-party network of industry leaders and parliamentarians.

David Nash and Deborah Hann, University of Cardiff

David and Deborah will consider who Pays the Living Wage and Why. They will present initial findings from a recent survey of all accredited Living Wage employers and service providers, which is just under 3000 organisations.  After profiling the characteristics of accredited organisations the reasons for accreditation and the influences, both internal and external, that informed that decision will be considered.   They will consider any associated changes that have accompanied the implementation of the living wage and also examine the possible impact and involvement of stakeholders such as subcontractors and trade unions.  The scale and coverage of the living wage within accredited organisations will be outlined together with employers' assessment of the effects of becoming accredited.  Finally, they will outline the impact of the Government's own National Living Wage in April 2016 and how the voluntary Living Wage movement should respond going forward.

David Nash has been Lecturer in Employment Relations at Cardiff Business School since 2003.  Before coming to Cardiff he was a researcher at Cambridge University, where he also completed his PhD examining the use of variable pay in the financial services sector.  David's research has concentrated on the areas of remuneration, corporate governance and workplace conflict resolution.  He has undertaken research projects for the UK government, the Bevan Foundation and the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. 

Deborah Hann is Lecturer in Employment Relations and researcher in UK and European Employment Relations at Cardiff Business School. Prior to joining Cardiff Business School, she completed a PhD at Manchester Business School and worked as a research fellow at Queen's University.  She has worked on projects on the impact of European legislation on worker voice and on the resolution of conflict in the workplace.  More recently, Deborah has been looking at the presence and spread of conflict resolution practices within the UK.


Wednesday 25 January 2017 3pm - 6pm


University of Greenwich, Queen Anne Court, Room QA238 

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

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