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University of Bradford School of Management lecturer to present research into low-paid workers in multiple jobs to trades unions

Published: Thu 3 Mar 2016
University of Bradford School of Management lecturer to present research into low-paid workers in multiple jobs to trades unions

A senior lecturer at the University of Bradford School of Management, together with his colleague, will be on the bill alongside a Labour MP and a Lord when they present their research at a trade union conference.

Dr Andrew Smith, who lectures in Human Resource Management and Employment Relations, and Dr Jo McBride of Newcastle University are conducting research into low-paid workers in multiple employment, which has never been conducted in the UK before.

The preliminary findings of their project – ‘The Forgotten Workers: Low Paid Workers in Multiple Employment’ – will be presented at a conference to representatives of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) on March 12 at Redworth Hall, County Durham.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper, Lord Kennedy of Southwark and Zoey Purdy of Mencap are also speaking at the event.

At the conference they will highlight their initial findings and also aim to gain access to more research participants.

“People working in low-paid multiple jobs is a major issue, but no one has carried out qualitative research on this social phenomenon before,” said Dr Smith.

“We’ve spoken to people with two, three, four, even five jobs. The types of jobs tend to be in the cleaning, catering, security and social care sectors.

“The working times cover unsocial hours – early morning, evenings, nights, and weekends, therefore, it becomes very difficult to have a reasonable work-life balance or any quality family time.

“A common link is that these people have a strong work ethic – all take great pride in what they do. However, they don’t generally feel appreciated by their managers and employers.

“We need a holistic approach to look at issues of low-pay, working hours, and the quality and experience of work”

Andrew added: “Our aim is to publicise our findings as widely as possible, and engage with academics and user groups.”

Following the USDAW conference, Dr Smith and Dr McBride will be presenting their initial research findings at the Northern Trades Union Congress conference in Leeds on April 3.

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