I started my academic career as an undergraduate in the Politics Department of the University of Leeds and then moved on to the Business School to study for my Masters. I undertook ESRC sponsored Doctoral studies, initially at Cardiff and then LUBS, and took up my first Lecturing position at Leeds in 1999.
My research interests are concerned with the regulation of the employment relationship and industrial restructuring. The role of contracts in the regulation of employment, and their relationship to the wider labour market, have also been key themes within my work. These concerns are reflected in my research into employment and deregulation in the telecommunications industries of the UK and Ireland, which has focused on the growth of subcontracting as an organisational form and as a means of regulating the supply of labour. The use of contingent alternatives to direct employment is also central to my work on casualisation and employment in the UK construction sector. This work is currently being developed in a comparative perspective, contrasting the UK, Sweden and Australia. My work on industrial restructuring has included a study of the economic and social consequences of reducancy in the Welsh steel industry. And the themes of contingent employment practices and labour market change are also apparent in my work on the social and economic experience of migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees.
In addition to my publications in leading peer reviewed journals, my work has engaged directly with end users. My joint report for the project 'Investing in a Multicultural Barnsley', fed into the development of a new integration strategy for refugees and asylum seekers in Barnsley. A joint report for the European Parliament on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund contributed to the policy-making process of this EU regulatory instrument. Similar outputs include reports for the International Labour Organisation on 'Good industrial Relations in the Oil Industry in the UK', and a report prepared for Community (The Union for Life) on the 'Economic and Social Impact of Redundancies from Corus and Allied Steel and Wire in Wales'.
I sit on the Editorial Board of Work, Employment and Society.