European Work and Employment Research Centre

IWPLMS 2017 Manchester

IWPLMS 2017 Manchester 38th Annual Conference of the International Working Party on Labour Market Segmentation

‘Inclusive and exclusive labour markets in times of inequality and uncertainty’

13th - 15th September 2017/ The University of Manchester, England

Abstract deadline: 31st March 2017

300 words max
Email abstracts to


The International Working Party on Labour Market Segmentation is an annual international meeting of academics who specialise in the multiple aspects of labour market segmentation. It is coordinated by an International Steering Committee. Each year the conference papers are organised around a central axis proposed to the participants of the meeting as a guide for submitting abstracts. The theme of the 2017 annual meeting to be held in Manchester is ‘Inclusive and exclusive labour markets in times of inequality and uncertainty’.

Members of the IWPLMS Steering Committee:

- Jill Rubery (Alliance Manchester Business School)
- Gerhard Bosch (University of Duisburg-Essen)
- Iain Campbell (RMIT University)
- Pilar Gonzales (University of Porto)
- Albert Recio (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
- Maria Karamessini (University of Panteion)
- Pertti Koistinen (Tampere University)
- Paola Villa (University of Trento)
- Philippe Mehaut (Université de Provence Aix-Marseille)
- Samuel Rosenberg (Roosevelt University)
- Dominic Anxo (Linnaeus University)

IWPLMS2017 organising team
The team organising this year’s IWPLMS conference includes the following colleagues from the University of Manchester:
- Damian Grimshaw
- Mat Johnson
- Kate Lagan
- Anthony Rafferty
- Isabel Tavora

37th conference –Work and inequality: the dynamics of growing inequality and the search for responses, Barcelona 2016
36th Conference – Long-term trends in the World of Work and Effects of the Economic Crisis, Athens (Greece), 2015
• 35th Conference - Changing patterns of Segmentation & Polarisation - Causes, Consequences and Counter Strategies, Manchester (United Kingdom), 2014
34th Conference – Austerity without end? European employment in the crisis, Dublin (Ireland), 2013
• 33rd Conference – Pathways to recovery: an agenda for another Europe, Rome (Italy), 2012
32nd Conference – Education and Training, Skills and the Labour Market, Bamberg (Germany), 2011
• 31st Conference – National Models of Employment and Economic, Environmental and Social Sustainability, Valencia (Spain), 2010
• 30th Conference – Social Policy as a productive factor, Tampere (Finland), 2009
29th Conference – Modernising labour market institutions: are current labour market institutions capable of meeting the needs of the twenty-first century? Porto (Portugal), 2008
• 28th Conference – Reshaping Employment Systems: Firms Unions and Individual Strategies, Aix-en-Provence (France), 2007
• 27th Conference – National Patterns of Labour Market Integration and Social Exclusion over the Life Course, Växjö (Sweden), 2006
• 26th Conference – Dynamics of National Models of Employment, Berlin (Germany), 2005
• 25th Conference – Intergenerational Change, the Welfare State and the Labour Market, Brisbane (Australia), 2004
• 24th Conference – Technical and Organisational Change: The Impact on Employment and Social Equity, Rome (Italy), 2003
• 23rd Conference – Job Quality, Spetses (Greece), 2002

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Please submit the abstracts (300 words max) for a conference paper by March 31 2017 –please email abstracts to:
• Deadline to submit abstract 31st March 2017
• Decision on acceptance for conference 30th April 2017

The growing tide of regressive and reactionary politics on the world stage has emerged in the wake of research evidence that has identified a seemingly new architecture for capitalist development characterised by widening inequality, middle income stagnation, economic uncertainty, poverty among working households, precarious work and corporate strategies of wealth extraction. Macroeconomic policy in many countries still suffers from the strange post-crisis lurch towards balancing budgets and shrinking the realm of state activities, while corporate governance models continue their shift towards meeting shareholder needs at the expense of other valid stakeholder interests. While a range of statutory and collectively negotiated employment and social rights remain in place for the most part, and have even been strengthened in some countries, there are new signs that employers are able and willing to evade the rules whether under pressures of cost competition or value extraction, or operating outside the formal sectors, generating growth in many forms of precarious work, reversing equalities and undermining the basis for a sustainable society founded on decent work.

The 2017 IWPLMS conference will focus on the wider developmental forces at play around the world and calls for new theoretical and empirical research that can both contribute to a new labour market segmentation approach for analysing inequalities and assist in policy efforts to make work more equal. This overall aim is inspired by the work of Jill Rubery, who co-founded the IWPLMS, and to whom this conference is dedicated in order to mark a special celebration of her career to date. Mirroring Jill’s intellectual contributions, this conference aims to interrogate through state-of-the-art research the various fiscal, technological, labour market and social policy changes around the world that are creating or increasing inequalities, precarious work and social exclusion among different workforce groups. Research increasingly spans multiple disciplines in an effort to understand both the wide-ranging set of institutions that shape employment inequalities (especially social and welfare policy rules, education policy and corporate governance systems), the interaction with complex political and social processes of gender relations systems, and the global character of technologically interlinked production systems and their related employment forms. Moreover, while employers play a key role in constructing and sustaining inequalities (whether by lobbying for deregulatory reforms, unbundling production structures in ways that fragment work or evading rules designed to shore up equalities at work), unions and civil society organisations may under certain circumstances exercise countervailing power. As such, as Jill’s comparative employment research has demonstrated, the character and consequences of labour market segmentation are likely to vary across different country, sectoral and organisational systems.

The 2017 conference will begin with a one-day event (13th September) to discuss and debate new contributions in specific fields of work where Jill has been a strong voice over the years. The day will consist of a series of invited talks, panel roundtables and Q&As with Jill Rubery, with details to be announced soon. The second and third days (14th and 15th September) will consist of papers and keynotes organised by specific research themes, selected to reflect the conference’s dual ambition both to forge a new intellectual basis for a new labour market segmentation approach to analysing and addressing work and employment inequalities and to celebrate Jill Rubery’s career to date. We would like to invite colleagues to submit an abstract of their paper to one of the five general themes listed below. All themes are designed to be international in intellectual and empirical focus. Note that gender issues are included in all five themes. Mixed research methods and cross-country comparative analyses are especially welcome.

1. Employers as architects of inequalities
Construction of primary and secondary labour markets; Job design; Undervaluation of women’s jobs; Career patterns (e.g. for mothers and fathers over the life course, obstacles to youth gaining regular employment); Sex segregation by industry/occupation; Anti-union strategies; Employer discrimination (e.g. by age, gender, ethnicity, disability); Prospects for reconciling employers' flexibility strategies with work-life balance needs of employees.

2. Households, welfare regimes and their inequalities effects
Social protection rights; Welfare protection over the life cycle; Adapting family support models to new household configurations and changing gender relations; Precarious work and welfare rights/ welfare sanctions.

3. Business transformation and labour market segmentation
Subcontracting, deverticalisation and fragmented work; The ‘gig economy’, freelancing and precarious work; Investment strategies, private equity, financialisation and sharing the gains; Technology and the changing sexual division of labour.

4. Global value chains and decent work
Pan-national labour standards; Exploitation of migrant workforce; International framework agreements; Supply chains and gender quality; Corporate codes of conduct; GVCs and diffusion of standards.

5. Inclusive labour markets against dualism and precarity
Trends and consequences of protective and participative standards (e.g. minimum wages, worker voice, collective bargaining); Union actions against precarious work; Interaction of welfare and employment regulations; Gender equality as a route to inclusive labour markets for all.

9.30 13th September to 17.00 15th September

Important dates
Registration opens - 1st May 2017
Registration closes - 9th July 2017
Conference - 13th-15th September 2017

All attendees, including speakers, presenters and those chairing or attending a session, must pay the Conference fee.
IWPLMS registration fees are divided into Regular and Student fees.
Each student, PhD students included, must provide a photocopy of her/his valid student card or equivalent.
The registration fee for participants includes:
- Access to Plenary sessions
- Lunch, coffees and teas
- Materials including Program Book
*The cost of evening meals is optional

  Regular Students
Registration fee £250 £140
Wednesday 13th September dinner £30 £15
Thursday 14th September dinner £30 £15

Manchester Museum of Science and Industry
Liverpool Road
M3 4FP

The conference will take place at Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. The Museum of Science and Industry is devoted to inspiring visitors through ideas that change the world.

How do I get there

It is advisable to book in advance, since the conference falls in the touristic peak season. The conference organisation has arranged discounts to the conference participants in some hotels and residences; but there is no guarantee of its availability. Please book your accommodation as soon as possible.

INNSIDE Manchester **** Website
Tel: +44 (0) 161 200 2500
Special offer for attendants to the IWPLMS conference:
*Double room (single occupancy) with breakfast: From: £119 B&B £/night
*Double room (double occupancy) with breakfast From: £129 B&B £/night
* Inc. Wi-Fi, in room mini fridge offering complimentary soft drinks & mineral water.
To enjoy the discount, please book DIRECTLY to the hotel by phone or email, mentioning the code “International Working Party 2017”. Bookings through the web or through an agency won’t enjoy the participants’ discount.

Manchester Marriott Victoria & Albert Hotel **** Website
Phone: +44 0161 832 1188
Special offer for attendants to the IWPLMS conference:
*Double room (single or double occupancy) room only: From: 119 £/night
*Double room (single occupancy) with breakfast: From: £129 B&B £/night
*Double room (double occupancy) with breakfast: From: £139 B&B £/night
To enjoy the discount, please book DIRECTLY to the hotel by phone, mentioning the code “International Working Party 2017”. Bookings through the web or through an agency won’t enjoy the participants’ discount.

Holiday Inn Express Oxford Road *** Website
Tel: +44 (0) 871 423 4896
From: £105 B&B (Complimentary continental breakfast buffet, free cancellation, subject to availability, no agreed rates)

Jurys Inn *** Website
Tel: +44 (0) 161 953 8888
From: £139 RO, £149 B&B (free cancellation, no agreed rates)

The Castlefield Hotel *** Website
Tel: +44 (0)161 832 7073
* Double room (single occupancy) with breakfast: From: £87 B&B £/night
To enjoy the discount, please book DIRECTLY to the hotel by phone or email

Ibis Manchester Centre Princess Street ** Website
Tel.: +44 (0) 20 3564 5165

* 12/09 Double room (single occupancy) with breakfast: From: £90 B&B £/night
* 13/09 Double room (single occupancy) with breakfast: From: £90 B&B £/night
* 14/09 Double room (single occupancy) with breakfast: From: £60 B&B £/night
To enjoy the discount, please book DIRECTLY to the hotel by phone, mentioning the code “International Working Party 2017”. Bookings through the web or through an agency won’t enjoy the participants’ discount.

The social dinner - Full details to follow

• Wednesday 13th September will be held at the Peoples History Museum, Reception from 6.30pm followed by dinner at 7:30pm.
• Thursday 14th September will be held at The Castlefield Rooms at 7:30pm.


The European Work and Employment Research Centre was established in 1994 to build upon and develop expertise in comparative and inter-disciplinary research in the area of work and employment.

Contact us

  • Address: 
    Alliance Manchester Business School
    Booth Street East
    M13 9SS, UK

  • Phone: +44 (0) 161 306 1320