University of Sussex Business School
+44 (0)7540 386722

I am Principal Investigator and Co-Director for the Digital Futures at Work Research Centre (2020-2024), together with Professor Mark Stuart.

I joined the University of Sussex Business School in 2017 as Professor of Comparative Human Resource Management and I am the UK lead on the EU Horizon 2020 EUROSHIP project on social protection in Europe (2020-23).


After completing my doctorate at Nuffield College, University of Oxford on an Anglo-French comparison of employment practices in the banking sector, I worked for ten years at the Social Science Research Centre Berlin (WZB), Germany. I have also held teaching and research posts at Sciences Politiques in Paris, and at London, Manchester and Brighton Universities in the UK. In 2000, I was awarded a Jean Monnet Research Fellowship at the European University Institute in Florence and appointed Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) in 2019.

The ESRC, the Leverhulme Trust, the European Commission, the European Science Foundation and Santander Bank have funded my research. This includes coordinating a EU FP7 funded large-scale research project STYLE: Strategic Transitions for Youth Labour in Europe ( (2014-17) and being the UK lead on the EU Horizon 2020 project NEGOTIATE on Overcoming early job-insecurity in Europe ( (2015-18).

Currently, I am on the editorial board of Zeitschrift für Sozialreform (De Gruyter) University of Bremen, Germany. I have provided consultation services to HM Treasury, Full Employment Team and the UK Cabinet Office Open Innovation Unit; I am an Evaluation Rapporteur for the European Commission Horizon 2020 research programme. Formerly, I have acted as an advisor to the ILO Work4Youth programme funded by The MasterCard Foundation; and twice as an evaluator for the German Excellence Initiative of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (€151 million investment).

Research interests

My most recent research focuses on

  • the digital transformation of work
  • international comparisons in political economy
  • gender and ethnic labour market transitions across the life cycle for youth, parents and older workers.

Recent publications

Journal articles

Adapting social protection to the needs of multiple jobholders in Denmark, the United Kingdom and Germany

Jerg, L., O'Reilly, J. and Schulze Buschoff, K. (2021) Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research

Digit working papers
Policy publications

A Gender Agenda for the Future of Work in a Digital Age of Pandemics: jobs, skills and contracts

Verdin, R. and O'Reilly, J. (2021), Institute of Economics and Social Research (WSI)

Digit Blogs

Retail employment and automation: good or bad for jobs?

How will investment in technologies such as robotics, tracking technologies and Artificial Intelligence affect employment in the retail sector?

‘Walsmart’: when AI hits the shop floor

A new AI-hiring system at Walmart was designed to speed up recruitment and reduce bias, but would hiring managers be willing to put their faith in the AI to choose the right person for the job?

Social media platforms for digital retail in Africa: an alternative to online retail platforms for young people

Why young people in Nigeria seeking to earn money by selling second hand clothing prefer social media to digital retail platforms.

Can digital resale clothing platforms provide a stable income for young people in the UK?

Some online marketplaces emphasise environmentally sustainable and inclusive practices but does this translate into material differences in the nature of work?

Other publications

Research articles

O’Reilly, J., Grotti, R., and Russell, H. (2019) ‘Are some sectors more ‘youth friendly’ than others? Employment regimes, sectors and gender disparities in the Great Recession’ Human Resource Management Journal 29(3): 490-508

Sánchez-Mira, N., & O’Reilly, J. (2019). ‘Household Employment and the Crisis in Europe.’ Work, Employment and Society, 33(3): 422-443.

Zuccotti, C. V., & O’Reilly, J. (2019). Ethnicity, Gender and Household Effects on Becoming NEET: An Intersectional Analysis. Work, Employment and Society, 33(3), 351–373.

Zuccotti, C. V., & O’Reilly, J. (2019). The impact of youth labour market experiences on later employment opportunities: What roles do ethnicity and gender play? Human Relations, 72(4): 646–674.

Ayllón, S., M. Bussi, J. O’Reilly, M. A. Schøyen and I. Tolgensbakk (2019) ‘Drug use and early job insecurity’ in B. Hvinden, J. O’Reilly, M. A. Schøyen & C. Hyggen (eds.) Negotiating Early Job Insecurity: Well-being, Scarring and Resilience of European Youth (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar).


Hvinden, B., J. O’Reilly, M. A. Schøyen & C. Hyggen (eds.) (2019) Negotiating Early Job Insecurity: Well-being, Scarring and Resilience of European Youth (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar). Also available open access

O’Reilly, J., Leschke, J., Ortlieb, R., Seeleib-Kaiser, M. and Villa, P. (2019) (eds.) Youth Labor in Transition: Inequalities, Mobility and Policies in Europe (New York: Oxford University Press). Also available open access

Neufeind, M., J. O’Reilly and F. Ranft (2018) (eds.) ‘Work in the Digital Age: Challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution’ (London: Rowman and Littlefield).

O’Reilly, J., C. Moyart, T. Nazio and M. Smith (2018) (eds.) ‘Youth Employment: the STYLE Handbook’ (Bristol: Policy Press). Also available open access Ebook –

House of Lords Committee cites Digit associate fellow’s evidence

25 November 2022

The written evidence was submitted for the inquiry 'Designing a public workforce fit for the future'.

Digit co-director presents at techUK’s Exploring the Future of Work Series

4 November 2022

Jackie O'Reilly participated in a panel for an event on The rise of the gig economy organised by techUK

Digit researchers present at the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting

5 September 2022

They participated in a special session discussing ‘The Future of Retail Work: Power and Voice after the E-commerce Revolution and the Pandemic’.

Digit researchers at the SASE 2022 conference

26 July 2022

Digit researchers discussed their work at the SASE cofnerence, 9-11 July 2022 in Amsterdam.

Digit Co-Director to give keynote at BAM HR Management conference

23 March 2022

Professor Jacqueline O’Reilly will be a keynote speaker at the BAM Human Resource Management SIG International Symposium in June 2022.

Digit researchers present findings at CIPD conference

27 January 2022

Digit Research Fellow Dr Wil Hunt discussed research exploring the use of AI-assisted technology in the hiring system of a large retail firm.

“It’s not the tech, it’s how it’s used”

2 November 2021

Digit's Co-Director, Professor Jacqueline O'Reilly has been quoted in an article in the Guardian discussing the effect of technology-enabled home working on equality and inclusion.

From Emergency to Empowerment – special Soldo report featuring Digit researchers

14 July 2020

A new Special Report from Soldo discussing the future of hybrid-remote working

More trust, less fuss!

20 May 2020

Digit Co-Director Prof. Jackie O'Reilly discusses remote working in this interview with Soldo.

Professor Jacqueline O’Reilly delivers keynote speech to the Nesta conference

24 October 2019

Professor Jacqueline O’Reilly delivered a keynote speech to yesterday's NESTA conference on 'Working Better: Using data and design to create an inclusive, future-oriented system for jobs and skills’.

Labour Party Conference fringe event

23 September 2019

Professor Jacqueline O’Reilly spoke at an event hosted by the Women and Work All Party Parliamentary Group and the University of Sussex Business School on tackling gender inequality in business and entrepreneurship.