Skip navigation

Employment Relations and Migration

In many sectors access to global and European labour markets support strategic organisational objectives. Workers who migrate in response to the perceived benefits these opportunities provide often find themselves in unfamiliar employment relations contexts.

This research area situates the experience of migration in ideological, structural and economic contexts. Whilst some contexts provide social partnership arrangements in which employee voice and productivity is aided by such mechanisms as alternative dispute resolution and works councils others provide examples of unregulated and exploitative relationships.

Our research has included identifying best practice for the European Commission with regard to the Posting of Workers Directive and mobile European workers, investigating the prevalence of European Workers Councils in the regional economy, providing employer advice on alternative dispute resolution and tracking the experience of Polish migrants to the UK.

Recent research projects Include:

Fitzgerald, I. and Smoczyński, R., Polish migrants in the north of England following the European Union Referendum, a project on Polish workers in the north of England following the Referendum;

Fitzgerald, I. and Beadle, R., Trade Unions and Britain’s 2016 Referendum on Membership of the European Union, an investigation into trade union strategies with regard to the EU Referendum;

Fitzgerald, I., Estimated Earnings of Blacklisted Construction Workers, expert reports for the Claimants Solicitors’ Steering Group in the Construction Industry Vetting Information Group Litigation, High Court;

Fitzgerald, I., Blacklisting Claims: November 2014, expert report for the Claimants Solicitors’ Steering Group in the Construction Industry Vetting Information Group Litigation, provisional report on the potential earnings of blacklisted construction workers, High Court;

Fitzgerald, I. and Smoczyński, R., Integration of Polish Workers in the North, Joint Northumbria University and Polish Academy of Sciences Project, a project on moral panics, Polish workers and hate crime in the north of England.

Recent publications:

Fitzgerald, I. and Smoczyński, R. (2017) ‘The UK labour market and immigration: What a difference ten years makes’, in Elli Heikkilä (ed.) Immigrants and the labour markets: Experiences from abroad and Finland, Abo Akademi University Press: 61–76.  


Smoczyński, R., Fitzgerald, I. and Zarycki, T. (2016) ‘The intelligentsia informed habitus in social distance strategies of Polish migrants in the UK’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 40 (6) 951-968.

Fitzgerald, I. and Smoczyński, R. (2015) ‘Anti-Polish migrant moral panic in the UK: Rethinking employment insecurities and moral regulation’, Czech Sociological Review, 51 (3) 339-361.

Fitzgerald, I. and Smoczyński, R. (2015) ‘Anti-Polish migrant moral panic in the UK: A Response to Heir and Slačálek’, Czech Sociological Review, 51 (3) 380-386.

Fitzgerald, I; Beadle, R and Rowan, K. (2020). “Trade Unions and the 2016 UK European Union Referendum”. Economic and Industrial Democracy (

Silles, M. 2018. "The Effects of Language Skills on the Economic Assimilation of Female Immigrants in the United States." The Manchester School 86(6): 789-815.


Our Courses

Interested in studying at Northumbria? With 31,500 students, Northumbria is one of the largest universities in the country, offering almost 500 courses on either a full-time, part-time or distance learning basis.


Register for an Open Day

We host a number of Open Days throughout the year. Click to find out more about our Open Days and book your place.


Our Staff

Our students learn from the best – inspirational academic staff with a genuine passion for their subject. Our courses are at the forefront of current knowledge and practice and are shaped by world-leading and internationally excellent research.

Latest News and Features

Honorary Graduate John Mark Williams
Robin Ferris Founder Bankuet Hon Grad-12
Bonded Agency Team
gettyimages/Eduard Figueres
Small Business Charter award
Nigel Coates Business Clinic
L-R: Lee Jackson, Anindya Chatterjee and Jacinta Lepcha from SmartCarbon
More events

Upcoming events

The landscape of business ethics in the United Kingdom

Back to top