Published: 07 April 2020

Dr Ying Zhou’s research into job quality presented to the UK Cabinet Office and cited in numerous policies

Surrey Business School's Dr Ying Zhou’s influential research co-authored with Emeritus Professor Duncan Gallie at Oxford University, examines the pattern of employee involvement and job quality in EU member states.

The importance of job quality on employee well-being and economic competitiveness has been recognised for decades, yet there is little evidence on effective ways of improving job quality. Drawing on large-scale European labour market surveys, Dr Zhou’s research highlights the importance of employee involvement in workplace decision-making as a key element of job quality and identifies effective policies and management practices to encourage higher levels of employee involvement.

The research has been presented to the UK Cabinet Office, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Commission. It has influenced the development of the OECD Job Quality Framework, formally adopted in G20 Labour and Employment Ministers’ Ankara Declaration.

Furthermore, the research has been cited in the UK government policy document Wellbeing and Policy (2014), the European Commission policy document Employment and Social Developments in Europe (2015), the OECD Guidelines on Measuring the Quality of Working Environment (2017), Le Monde (2018) regarding the France Telecom employee suicides in the late 2000s, and the Gollac Report, which led to a government decree to monitor psychosocial risks in all large firms with over 1000 employees in France.

Recently, four of Dr Zhou’s research papers were cited in the Welsh Government policy document Fair Work Wales (2019), and the Chair of Fair Work Commission wrote a letter to Dr Zhou commending her research and recommendations. The research was also discussed in Le Monde again, this time in relation to the yellow vest protests, drawing evidence from her research that France was badly placed among the EU member states in employee voice.

Dr Zhou has also recently been awarded two new research grants by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to further her research on job quality and employee well-being in the UK and EU. The latest findings were presented to EU policy makers, employer representatives and trade union representatives in Dublin last year, and an EU policy brief based on the research will be published this year with the potential to generate more impact over the next decade.

Find out more about research at the Department of People and Organisations and Surrey Business School.

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