Work Futures and Economic Security

The Centre pursues a multi-disciplinary research program on work, employment, and economic security with a key focus on policy and practice. Numerous forces, both current and historical, are challenging the economic, social and legal dimensions of work and employment. Automation and AI has reduced demand for labour, altered work tasks, disrupted key sectors of the labour market and prompted us to rethink the relationship between paid work, leisure and social identity. Changes in family form, migration patterns, and the growing size and influence of financial institutions are also re-shaping employer-employee relations. Moreover, the impacts of climate change have threatened jobs in certain sectors whilst creating the potential for new jobs and industries. Covid-19 has also changed the relationship between work and life and stimulated debate on the relative value of paid work, unremunerated work, and leisure, and new policies that loosen the coupling between income and labour, such as universal basic income.

The culmination of all these factors raises urgent questions about how to best respond to profound disruptions to labour markets, organisations, and the work and family ethic. The Centre contributes to public policy debate on these issues through cutting edge research, while also co-creating frameworks, resources and tools that promote economic security and a meaningful life at a time when paid work is becoming a less reliable source of income, rights and belonging.  We conduct research on the following issues and challenges shaping work and employment into the future:

  • AI, automation and platform work
  • Work design
  • Labour market inequalities and precarious employment
  • Just transitions
  • Employment services
  • The work of care and the care economy
  • The social security-employment nexus
  • Economic security
  • Time use and temporal justice

 Projects include: