New research on employers and Universal Credit

By Emma Brookes, Vice-Chair and Public Policy Lead, CIPD Manchester
2 November 2021

HR expertise sought for a new ground-breaking study

Research and policymaking have largely ignored employer views and experiences of Universal Credit – the main benefit for people who are out of work or on a low income. Universal Credit requires claimants to engage in job seeking and other work-related activities. It may also involve new expectations for people in work to increase their pay through progressing and/or taking on additional hours of work (UC replaces Working Tax Credits).

Whilst job-search expectations are applied to claimants, this may have implications for the way employers recruit, retain and progress their staff. In addition, as those in control of the opportunities claimants are seeking to access, employers are central to UC’s effectiveness.

Researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University Business School are inviting employers from Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire to take part in a new research study focused on employer experiences and perceptions of Universal Credit. They are interested in gathering employer views of UC,

  • how expectations placed on UC claimants may (or may not) impact businesses, and
  • how employment agencies like Jobcentre Plus can best work with employers.

As the UK faces continued economic uncertainty, including recruitment challenges in some sectors, and as new policies such as Kickstart and Restart are introduced, this project provides an important opportunity for employers and HR practitioners to reflect and feed in their expertise on this important policy area

How to get involved

You do not need to know anything about Universal Credit to take part.

The project team are looking for employers (anyone with influence/power over recruitment and line management including Owner-Managers, HR managers, line managers) who are willing to take part in a confidential interview. Employers from any sector can take part but we are particularly interested in speaking to employers in:

• Retail

• Hospitality

• Social Care

Interviews will last for no more than one hour and will be scheduled to suit you (these can take place face to face or virtually). 

If you are interested in taking part or would like more information, please contact Dr Katy Jones at katy.jones@mmu.ac.uk,

You can also follow the project on Twitter @UC_Employers and LinkedIn

Emma Brookes
Branch Vice-Chair & Public Policy Lead
CIPD Manchester Branch


Connect with Emma on LinkedIn

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Location Manchester, England E-mail manchester@cipdbranch.co.uk Hours Our hours vary according to our programme.
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