Work in Challenging and Uncertain Times: The Changing Employment Relationship

Patricia Leighton, Tui McKeown

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review


This book was written as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began to 15
have a devastating effect on employment across the globe. The crisis has 16
served to highlight many deepseated, often longstanding challenges to 17
employment relationships. These include uncertainties and fears about the 18
impact of technological advances, concerns about safety and wellbeing and 19
controversies around emerging business and employment models. It is 20
difficult to avoid the fear that the combination of these and other practices 21
will lead to a ‘race to the bottom’. The book calls for a radical rethink and 22
reassessment of the core values underlying employment relationships. 23
In ‘Work in Uncertain and Insecure Times’, the authors take a refreshingly 24
realistic view of how contemporary work relationships are managed and look
to how they will need to change in the future. Some key questions are posed, 25
such as ‘who is the employer in complex skills supply chains?’; ‘how do we 26
ensure a skilled workforce in a context of fragmentation and increasing 27
individualization?’; 'in a context of AI, robots etc, what does it mean to be 28
human?’ and ‘how do we achieve change and improvement’? 29
Based on extensive research presented in an accessible and engaging style, 30
the book provides insights valuable to students of employment relationships, 31
HRM and employment law as well as to practitioners and policy-makers. It 32
draws on a range of academic disciplines and thoughts from interviews with 33
key practitioners and commentators on workplace as well as students
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
Number of pages256
ISBN (Electronic)9781003020820
ISBN (Print)9780367897482, 9780367897475
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • employee relations
  • employer attitudes
  • employability
  • future of work
  • employment opportunity
  • disabled person
  • labour force participation

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