Work and Equalities Institute fifth Fairness at Work conference: Fairness and work futures.
23rd – 24th January 2023
The University of Manchester

Call for Papers

Building on the four previous Fairness at Work Conferences at the University of Manchester (in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018), the 2023 conference aims to bring together academics and practitioners to discuss strategic issues on the subject of fairness at work. The last decade has seen a major shift in the environment of work and employment in terms of political instability and contradictory regulatory politics, as well as environmental sustainability and technological disruption challenges. Ongoing issues of equality, wellbeing and health have been increasingly laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic and geo-political developments, while an evolving cost of living crisis further highlights issues of low pay, precariousness, and social protection. These developments have reinvigorated debates regarding the role of the state with regards to the economy and employment relations both at the national and local level. Within this context the language of, and interest in, fairness and decent work has become more widespread albeit in an uneven manner. Across issues such as equality, social inclusion, and wellbeing, for example, there are exhaustive attempts by public and private actors – and interests – to redefine and reshape the workplace and broader policy landscape, leading to competing sets of agendas and contested spaces. The future of work seems to be increasingly questioned in terms of the way fairness and decent work are defined.

Drawing on the four research themes of the Work and Equalities Institute papers are invited in the following broadly defined areas:

  • Fair treatment and dignity at work;
  • Equality, diversity, and inclusion;
  • Employment regulation, worker participation and trade unionism;
  • Business transformations, technology, and the future of work.

Please indicate which of these your paper is aligned to, and provide details of the research methods and findings.

Please send 500-word abstracts or 1000 words for session stream proposals to ( by September 30th 2022.

The conference aims to provide a space for substantive discussions on such issues as well as the way the future(s) of work and their regulation and body of rights will develop in the light of the ruptures and challenges posed by contemporary developments.

Venue: The University of Manchester 

Cost: £200 Waged/£50 unwaged and low-waged (includes all food and drink, and conference dinner)


The Work & Equalities Institute has a history, built over an extensive period, of informing the evidence-base and policy agenda of the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the United Nations’ International Labour Organisation, as well as national organisations such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission, trade unions, and others. Our research is used in knowledge exchange, dialogue and debate with key stakeholders and policy makers, and makes informed contributions to policy formation and practice.