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Better work: whose business is it? | LSE Festival

Hosted by LSE Festival: Power and Politics

In-person and online public event (Wolfson Theatre, Cheng Kin Ku Building)


Kate Bell

Kate Bell

Professor Stephen Machin

Professor Stephen Machin

Professor Alan Manning

Professor Alan Manning

Sarah O'Connor

Sarah O'Connor


Professor Kirsten Sehnbruch

Professor Kirsten Sehnbruch

How much power should employers have over their workers’ lives? Most countries recognise that employer power needs to be curbed – with governments setting out legal requirements on minimum pay, maximum working hours and paid leave. And governments also intervene to curb worker power – ruling on trade union recognition, who can strike and under what conditions. But should governments intervene between employer and employee on matters such as sending out-of-hours emails, or on whether to pay bonuses?

We discuss what policies the government should introduce - or scrap – to bring about a better balance of power in our working lives.

Meet our speakers and chair

Kate Bell (@kategobell) is Assistant General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress

Stephen Machin (@s_machin_) is Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, has been President of the European Association of Labour Economists, is a Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists and was an independent member of the Low Pay Commission from 2007-14. 

Alan Manning is Professor of Economics at LSE and is Co-Director of the Centre for Economic Performance's research programme on Community and Wellbeing. From 2009-2012 he was Head of the Economics Department at LSE; from 2004 to 2011 he was a member of the NHS Pay Review Body and from 2016-2020 the Chair of the Migration Advisory Committee. 

Sarah O’Connor (@sarahoconnor_) is a columnist, reporter and associate editor at the Financial Times. She writes a weekly column focused on the world of work, as well as longer reported articles. 

Kirsten Sehnbruch (@KirstenSehn) is British Academy Global Professor and a Distinguished Policy Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute at LSE.

More about the event

This event is part of the LSE Festival: Power and Politics running from Monday 10 to Saturday 15 June 2024, with a series of events exploring how power and politics shape our world. Booking for all Festival events will open on Monday 13 May.  

The Centre for Economic Performance (@CEP_LSE) carries out policy-focused research on the causes of economic growth and effective ways to create a fair, inclusive and sustainable society.

Hashtag for this event: #LSEFestival

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download from Better work: whose business is it?

A video of this event is available to watch at Better work: whose business is it?

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

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