Influencing employment relations policy and practice in the voluntary sector

Impact: Impact - for External PortalPolicy and legislation, Professional practice, training and standards


Research by Professor Ian Cunningham and Professor Dennis Nickson has influenced policy and practice with regard to a range of employment relations issues in the voluntary sector. Sector-level lead bodies, such as the Coalition of Care and Support Providers Scotland (CCPS) and individual trade unions (e.g. Unison and UNITE) and union confederations such as the Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) have adopted the research results and recommendations to campaign and influence public policy. The research has enabled Unison to establish a separate 'service group' (a term used to describe the union's key industrial sector). Research work on re-tendering in the voluntary social care sector (VSSC) has also been a key influence for the Scottish Government according to the Director of the CCPS, resulting in the formulation of specific guidance on social care procurement. Some research findings are cited in an influential report that has resulted in the establishment of a Scottish Government National Steering Group on joint strategic commissioning. The research on the impact of recession on VSSC has also led to joint lobbying between the STUC and employer organisations to campaign on worker terms and conditions, and training.
Impact statusOpen
Category of impactPolicy and legislation, Professional practice, training and standards


  • REF2014 impact case study