Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Dr. Kantha Dayaram, a visiting researcher at the CIRHR, and an Associate Professor in Employment Relations at Curtin University, Australia, with a background in labour health economics. She has a doctorate in governance and policy and executive masters in health economics from the London School of Economics. Her research intersects work health and safety and industrial regulatory frameworks. Kantha’s current research focuses on international comparative industrial relations (IR), union interventions and psychosocial hazards relating to job demand and time. She is also the lead investigator on a project investigating ‘labour hire and workplace sexual harassment and discrimination’. She is currently guest editing the Journal of industrial Relations special issue on Workplace Psychosocial Hazards: Employment Relations Frameworks and Implications for Workers’ Health and Safety.
Her recent research examined a ‘Whole of Government Approach to Workplace Sexual Violence’ and ‘Regulatory Challenges Facing Remote Working in Australia’, published in the Handbook of Research on Remote Work and Worker Well-Being in the Post-COVID-19 Era (2021).
We asked Kantha about her research interests, why this area of study is important, and the areas of work she's hoping to tackle while visiting the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources - here's what she had to say:
"I suppose I am interested in researching how years (if not decades) of neoliberal employment regulations are impacting current work arrangements and the risk they pose on workers’ mental health. Whereas much of the research on occupational health and safety focuses on physiological injury and/or symptomatic individual-level psychological health, the research I am interested in focuses on examining the cause of workers’ ill mental health from a pluralist perspective. It aims to shift the lens of worker safety from the individual to a collectivist perspective. While at the CIRHR, my goal is to engage in comparative analysis of the above and to examine the divergences and convergences of international regulatory frameworks, and consequences of work arrangements such as working hours, labour hire, insecure work, prevalence and reporting of workplace sexual harassment/violence and discrimination. The methodologies are mixed and use longitudinal panel data, qualitative empirical data and accessing secondary legal case reports."