The event featured presentations and a panel discussion on how employment and welfare reforms have changed the relationship between workers and the labour market.
Since 2010 the UK government has introduced a range of reforms that have reshaped the relationship between workers and the labour market. Major changes in social security (such as the use of benefit sanctioning and benefit caps, and the introduction of Universal Credit) are playing out alongside major changes to employment rights and protections, emphasising issues of low pay, in-work poverty, and labour market experiences.
In this seminar, the contributors shared insights on key labour market reforms alongside the policy instruments within the welfare state that regulate work and workers in the age of austerity and reform. Whilst consecutive governments during have suggested that the UK has a low unemployment rate and therefore healthy labour market, this event sought to illuminate what the raft of reforms mean for UK workers:
- What has changed?
- Who wins and who loses?
- What do labour market and welfare reforms mean for those of us interested in poverty, employment, and the British welfare state?
Presentations and discusssion
Professor David Etherington (Staffordshire University) outlined key arguments from his new book Austerity, Welfare and Work: Exploring Politics, Geographies and Inequalities and reflects on the role of trade unions during this time. This event was a launch for this new book, which provides a new perspective on welfare policy and employment relations as he assesses their fundamental impact on social inequalities.
Dr David Webster (University of Glasgow) has conducted a detailed examination of benefit sanctioning. He described the key trends in welfare policy and administration that have shaped the relationship between unemployed citizens and the labour market
This event was held online on October 21 2020, at the University of Glasgow