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David Shoesmith
Business Development Manager

The changing contours of organisational fairness

The changing contours of organisational fairness

Thursday, 10 April 2014
08:15 - 09:30
The Work Foundation, 21 Palmer Street, London SW1H 0AD


  • Esther McVey MP, Minister for Employment
  • Stephen Moir, Director of People, NHS England
  • Professor Paul Sparrow, Lancaster University Management School
  • Dr Wilson Wong, Head of Insight & Futures, CIPD

The Event

Fairness is a concept that is continually visited and revisited when considering in all aspects of modern life, whether it is in chancellor George Osborne’s idea of creating a simpler, fairer tax system as shared in his Budget announcement, or when thinking about the implications of growing wealth inequality in the UK (as shown by recent research from Oxfam highlighting that the five richest families in Britain today are wealthier than the bottom 20 per cent of the country’s population).

To address this wide-ranging issue The Work Foundation, together with our colleagues at the CIPD and the Lancaster University Management School has begun a programme of research. The first report 'The Changing Contours of Fairness' was published last year.

This seminar discussed some of these differing notions of fairness and how they can affect key employment issues in the United Kingdom today. Professor Paul Sparrow spoke about the complex ways in which employees judge what is fair, and considered the role and relevance of HR in facilitating fairness in organisations. Stephen Moir discussed the relevance of fairness in one of the UK’s largest employers, the NHS. And Esther McVey MP, spoke to the wider societal issues surrounding the topic of fairness and the need to seek a “fair” balance that can accommodate the views of different individuals.

Following on from the event, Geraint Johnes, director of The Work Foundation, reflects on the debate in his April Directors Report, and Dean Royles, Chief Executive of NHS Employers, speaks about the tricky issue of fairness in public sector decision making.

The debate has only just begun on fairness, if you are interested in getting involved in the next stage of research please contact Professor Paul Sparrow:

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