Tony Dobbins is Professor of Work and Employment Relations at Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham. He is a Parliamentary Academic Fellow in the UK Parliament, President of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA), Council Member of the International Labour and Employment Relations Association (ILERA), Visiting Professor at Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, Ireland, and Visiting Professor at Centre for Labour Studies, University of Malta. Previously, he was Professor of Employment Studies at Bangor Business School, Bangor University. Tony was also employed in various posts in both academia and the private and public sectors. He was an Irish Research Council funded Research Fellow at the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, National University of Ireland Galway, and spent eight years as a journalist in Dublin with Industrial Relations News.
Evidently, there is still extensive non-compliance with laws like the National Minimum Wage Act, relating to low likelihood of detection. There could also be much greater resourcing and provision of labour inspectors responsible for labour market enforcement, adding that the role of director of labour market enforcement remained vacant. More could be done to promote labour market regulations as a springboard for positive employment relations and a broader public good for society. However, a deregulatory labour market flexibility agenda has been permitted to dominate discourse, contributing to a ‘race to the bottom’ in labour market standards.5 December 2021