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Glasgow professor wins major research funding into work contracts

8 September 2017

A major funding award to investigate the changing nature of contracts and contracting behaviour in the world of work has been won by a University of Glasgow professor.

Ruth Dukes, Professor of Labour Law, has received an award worth over €1.4 million over a period of five years from the European Research Council (ERC) under its Starting Grant scheme, designed to support excellent principal investigators to conduct groundbreaking research.

Professor Dukes’ project is entitled "Work on Demand: Contracting for Work in a Changing Economy". Supervising a team of doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, she will seek to investigate the ever-evolving nature of contracts and contracting behaviour – not only contracts of employment, but also those of casual, zero hours and self-employed workers. A particular point of focus will be the emerging "gig" or "on demand" economy, in which consumers order a range of services, or delivery of a range of goods, online or via smartphone apps.

Having a strong comparative dimension, the project will analyse differences in forms of contract and contracting behaviour across jurisdictions and over several decades. With her characterisation of contracting for work as an instance of economic, social and legal behaviour, the relevance of Professor Dukes' work will extend beyond the field of labour law into other legal disciplines and branches of social science.

Professor Dukes has previously carried out prizewinning research into traditional and more recent market-based approaches to the study of labour law.


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