added value

The added value of trade unions - A review for the TUC of existing research

The aim of this report is to provide an overview of the current research evidence on the economic impact of workplace union representation. Our review focuses on quantitative studies that have been conducted on good quality, nationally-representative samples of British workplaces or employees, and we rely where possible on results from multivariate statistical analyses which control for observable differences between union and non-union workplaces or employees. We utilise evidence from qualitative case studies where this serves to fill in gaps in the quantitative literature.

The added value of trade unions - New analyses for the TUC of the Workplace Employment Relations Surveys 2004 and 2011

Background to the analysis

To inform debate over the 2016 Trade Union Act the TUC commissioned UCL/NIESR to undertake a three-pronged investigation on the nature of unions and their effects on employers and employees. This comprised:

  • a review of existing literature on union effects
  • new analyses of the Workplace Employment Relations Surveys (WERS)
  • a more detailed investigation of the links between unionisation and work/life balance.

This report focuses on the second element, namely the new analyses of WERS.