Book Symposium: Stories of Care: A Labour of Law

by | Mar 30, 2017

A new book symposium organised by the Centre for Research on Law, Equality and Diversity (LEAD) for Lydia Hayes’ new book, Stories of Care: A Labour of Law: Gender and class at work.

The event will be followed by a drinks reception for those in attendance.

About the book

In Stories of Care: A Labour of Law: Gender and class at work, Lydia Hayes argues that the UK’s crisis of social care is a product of the institutionalised humiliation of paid care workers – a process made possible by the gendered inadequacy of law. Her book provides significant insights into the working lives of homecare workers. Their experiences and opinions are captured in the character narratives through which the book is structured: Cheap Nurse, Two-a-Penny, Mother Superior and Choosy Suzy. Each is connected to a specific area of law at work: equal pay law, the legal protection of employment, minimum wage law, and workforce regulation via the Care Act 2014.

The UK’s homecare workforce is now over a million strong yet its low pay and poor conditions provide strong evidence of the extent to which the British state disrespects the labour and dignity of working-class women.  Hayes identifies how law facilitates and endorses judgments of inferiority, variously made by politicians, governments, the judiciary, social policy makers and management. Hayes argues, this is institutionalised humiliation in action. She draws on examples in statute, case law and social policy to show how laws’ intellectual reasoning and sexist values justify the poor treatment, low pay, insecurity and virtual invisibility of homecare workers in public life. 


Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Oxford University

Sandra Fredman FBA QC (hon), Oxford University

Bev Skeggs AcSS, Goldsmiths

You can sign up for the event here.

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