Digit research on economic impacts of labour laws highlighted at APPG on Future of Work

25 April 2024

New research exploring the relationship between changing UK labour laws and economic indicators has been published in a Digit Policy Brief, authored by Professor Simon Deakin and Kamelia Pourkermani.

Professor Deakin was invited to discuss the research at a meeting of the APPG on the Future of Work. The new findings were also discussed at a Roundtable co-hosted by Digit and partners the Institute for the Future of Work (IFOW).

The Policy Brief, titled The economic effects of changes in labour laws: new evidence for the UK, uses data from The University of Cambridge Centre for Business Research Labour Regulation Index: a comprehensive index of labour laws in 117 countries, newly updated to cover 1970 to 2022.

Their analysis shows that stronger labour protection is associated with higher employment and lower unemployment. Particular types of labour laws, including those regulating flexible working, working time, and employee representation, can have positive productivity effects.

The findings were discussed at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Future of Work’s session ‘Growing more productive – what can be done to solve the UK’s productivity puzzle?’ on 17 April.

Chaired by Matt Warman MP, the APPG also heard from Anna Leach (Deputy Chief Economist at the CBI), Professor Philip McCann (Chair of Urban and Regional Economics at Alliance Manchester Business School), Dr Daniel Susskind (Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Ethics in AI at Oxford University), and Dr Bertha Rohenkohl (Researcher at IFOW), alongside Professor Deakin.

‘Growing more productive - what can be done to solve the UK's productivity puzzle?’ panellists

‘Growing more productive – what can be done to solve the UK’s productivity puzzle?’ panellists

On 24 April, Digit co-hosted a Roundtable discussion with the IFOW, ‘What are the economic impacts of changes in labour laws?’, with opening remarks from Justin Madders MP, Shadow Minister for the Future of Work and Employment Rights and Protections. The event was chaired by Digit Co-Director Professor Jacqueline O’Reilly.

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