I completed both my undergraduate degree and MA in History and Politics at the University of East Anglia and subsequently worked in the Inland Revenue, where I was lay activist in the IRSF union (now the Public and Commercial Services Union, PCS). I then moved to Birmingham University, where I completed my PhD (examining German collective bargaining after unification) in 1999. Prior to joining the staff at Keele in September 2000, I worked both as a Research Assistant at the LSE and as a Lecturer in Industrial Relations at the University of Warwick.
I am an Academic MCIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development).
My main research interests relate to the employment of migrant workers and to the regulation of workloads and the work-life balance of white collar-workers.
I have undertaken for the Low Pay Commission, UNITY trade union, the West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership and Lifelong Learning Network, work on migrant labour and wage levels, union organising and skill utilisation. This research has been supported by research grants from the Nuffield Foundation and Sir Halley Stewart Trust.
I have also undertaken research into the workload and work-life balance of Head Teachers (for the National Association of Head Teachers, NAHT), Civil Servants (for the Public and Commercial Services union, PCS) and Prison Managers (for the Prison Governors Association, PGA) with research reports submitted to the School Teachers Pay Review Body, Prison Service Pay Review Body and the Cabinet Office.
The study of work-life balance has also led me to undertake research into Performance Management (PM), notably in the UK Civil Service where I have examined the discriminatory outcomes of PM ratings for the PCS union and provided research support in formulating a developmental approach to PM which is not linked to pay.
I also have general research interests in comparative industrial relations; German collective bargaining and trade unions; and Brexit and the European Union (for which I secured ESRC funding for a seminar series ahead of the referendum).
I have supervised five PhD candidates to completion (in the areas of European Works Councils, Call Centres in Greece, union organising in the Civil Service and union workplace organisation and representation in both the Royal Mail and Ministry of Defence).
I am currently supervising two doctoral students in the areas of the work-life balance of Chinese female white collar workers and the utilisation of migrant workers in Sweden and the UK.