School of Sociology and Social Policy
   
   
  
 

Image of Simon Roberts

Simon Roberts

Associate Professor of Public and Social Policy, Faculty of Social Sciences

Contact

Biography

Simon joined Nottingham University as Associate Professor of Public and Social Policy in August 2013. He was formerly Assistant Director/Acting Director at the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University. He has more than 20 years experience of applied social research including wide experience of designing and managing large-scale national and international qualitative and quantitative projects many of which combine the two approaches.

He is currently:

A member of the University's Governance and Public Policy (GaPP) Priority Area Management Team: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/publicpolicy/

Co-Investigator (Leading the Governance and Policy Stream) on the Leverhulme Sustainable Urban Habitats Interdisciplinary Programme: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/lucas/index.aspx

Member of a European Regional Development Fund project to support local SMEs evaluate the economic and social impacts of their activities.

Resident Senior Fellow at the China Policy Institute: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/cpi/

The UK National Expert, a Visiting International Expert and member of the Think Tank on the European Commission's Network of Legal Experts (FreSsco) Free Movement of Workers and Social Security Coordination: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=en&catId=1098

Expertise Summary

Expert knowledge of UK, EU and International social security; EU free movement, social security and cross-border healthcare law and policy; UK and international disability policies; research and evaluation methodologies.

Designing, conducting and managing research and evaluations, data and policy analysis, report writing and dissemination, verbal and written presentation, organising conferences.

Training, teaching, lecturing, presenting at conferences, writing, working with colleagues, chairing meetings.

Team working, project management, leading and managing performance. Acquired working in government and higher education sector.

Teaching Summary

Simon convenes and teaches the following modules:

Dynamics of International Social Policy (Masters)

Economics and Policy Analysis (Masters)

Dynamic of International Social Policy (BA year 2)

Governance and Policy in Africa and Asia in International Comparative Context (BA year 3).

He contributes to:

Investigating Social Policy (ESRC DCT Social Policy Pathway)

Research Methods and Research Management (Masters)

Policy and Social Justice (BA year 1)

History of British Social Policy (BA year 2)

Research Summary

Simon has extensive experience of UK, European and international research. He was a Senior EU Expert on the EU-China Social Security Reform Co-operation Project; a Senior EU Expert on the EU… read more

Selected Publications

  • ROBERTS, S., 2016. ‘The Xenophobe’s Phrase Book’ in Zeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Arbeits- und Sozialrecht. 185-201
  • SIMON ROBERTS, 2016. Free Movement and Special Non- Contributory Benefits for Disabled People: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea ERA Forum. 17(2), 221-232
  • COUSINS, M., ROBERTS, S. AND STAFFORD, B., 2016. Comparative systems of assessment of illness or disability for the purposes of adult social welfare payments: Incapacity for Work: A report for the National Disability Authority of Ireland.
  • ROBERTS, S., 2017. ‘The UK and Social Security Coordination after Brexit: Reinventing the Wheel or Mad Hatter’s Tea Party?' Social Security. Theory, Law, Practice. 13-27

Current Research

Simon has extensive experience of UK, European and international research. He was a Senior EU Expert on the EU-China Social Security Reform Co-operation Project; a Senior EU Expert on the EU programme providing technical assistance for capacity building in social security in Turkey under the EU Accession Process and the Social Acquis; a Thematic Expert on the European Commission's 15 country study of discrimination in social security on grounds of gender, age, disability, race or ethnic origin, sexual orientation and religion; and has led and worked on several national evaluations for UK government departments including the Department for Work and Pensions, Home Office, Department for Transport and Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Currently he is:

Co-Investigator (leading the Governance and Policy Stream) on the Leverhulme Sustainable Urban Habitats Cross-Disciplinary Programme: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/lucas/index.aspx

The UK National Expert, a Visiting International Expert and member of the Think Tank on the European Commission's Network of Legal Experts (FreSsco) Free Movement of Workers and Social Security Coordination: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=en&catId=1098

Past Research

Simon has extensive experience of UK and international research. Between 1999 - 2014 he was (variously) UK National Expert and Member of the Editorial Board on the European Commission's Observatory on Social Security for Migrant Workers and UK National Expert, a Visiting International Expert and member of the Think Tank and the pool of Analytic Experts on the European Commission's Training and Reporting on European Social Security (trESS) network.

Simon was a Senior EU Expert on the EU-China Social Security Reform Co-operation Project, a Senior EU Expert on the EU programme providing technical assistance for capacity building in social security in Turkey under the EU Accession Process and the Social Acquis; and a Thematic Expert on the European Commission's 15 country study of discrimination in social security on grounds of gender, age, disability, race or ethnic origin, sexual orientation and religion.

Simon has led and worked on several evaluations for UK government departments including two of the Disability Discrimination Act for the Department for Work and Pensions and most recently an evaluation of the Equality Act 2010 for the Home Office and a study of the equality impact of recent welfare reforms for the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

RECENT PROJECTS

2016 ongoing 'An Introduction to Evaluation'

Workshop funded by the European Union's, European Regional Development Fund designed for SMEs in Nottinghamshire interested in measuring their business's social, cultural or financial impact. This was the first in a series of events, to be run over the next two years as part of Centre for Advanced Studies' Evidenced based Innovation project, which is offered as part of the Enabling Innovation programme

2016 -20 Sustainable Urban Habitats - An interdisciplinary approach

Co-Investigator leading the 'Policy and Governance' stream. Funded by The Leverhulme Trust. The aim of the programme is to understand the complex interrelated and competing factors influencing urban sustainability with empirical data from two growth cities in China (Chengdu, Shanghai) and two transition cities in Europe (Nottingham, Stuttgart).

2016 The engagement and participation of people with disabilities in developing services (policy and practice)

Funded by the National Disability Authority of Ireland - the independent statutory advisory body to the Irish Government on disability policy and practice.

2015-16 Comparative systems of assessment of illness or disability for the purposes of adult social welfare payments: Carers

Funded by the National Disability Authority of Ireland - the independent statutory advisory body to the Irish Government on disability policy and practice.

2015 Comparative systems of assessment of illness or disability for the purposes of adult social welfare payments: Incapacity for Work

Funded by the National Disability Authority of Ireland - the independent statutory advisory body to the Irish Government on disability policy and practice.

2014 -15 Accessing Benefits in Times of Crisis

Senior Scientific Researcher on Eurofound funded comparative European project to investigate how EU Member States are introducing reforms and adjusting their interventions in order to ensure that monetary social benefits reach those most in need, and, in the face of restricted public social budgets, how effective the implementation of these reforms and measures are.

2014- ongoing European Commission Network of Experts on Intra- EU Mobility - Free Movement of Workers and Social Security Coordination (FreSsco)

UK National Expert on Social Security Coordination and Free Movement of Workers. FreSsco is a European Commission (DG EMPL) funded network of independent experts in the fields of free movement of workers and social security coordination. The overall aim of FreSsco is twofold. On the one hand, FreSsco is to provide the EC with high-quality legal expertise in the areas of free movement of workers and social security coordination, both by means of reports - informing the EC's analysis when considering developments in the EU legal framework - and by means of ad hoc analytical support - assisting them with the investigation of complaints, petitions, parliamentary questions etc. On the other hand, FreSsco will also have a role in disseminating this expertise and increasing experts' and practitioners' knowledge of the relevant fields of EU law, in particular by organising (training and other) seminars, sharing information and building networks between stakeholders.

2013 Monitoring the Equality Impact of Welfare Reforms

Project Leader. Study for the Equality and Human Rights Commission of the Department for Work and Pensions' on-going monitoring of the equality impact of welfare reform policies. This study follows on from the Commission's formal assessment of HM Treasury's 2010 Spending Review. The study examines the likely equality impact of recent and forthcoming welfare reforms including the introduction of Universal Credit and the reform of Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Housing Benefit on groups with the following protected characteristics under the Public Sector Equality Duty: age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, and sexual orientation. The study involved in-depth interviews with senior policy makers and the examination of official documents.

2013 Design and teaching of module for Masters Degree in Social Law at the University Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique

Design and teaching of module on International Social Rights for Masters Course in Social Law at the University Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo, Mozambique. Different social rights are examined including the right to medical care, housing, education, social security and welfare, water and food. Led by the University of Ghent and supported by VLIR/UOS (The Flemish Inter- University Council/University Development Cooperation).

2007-13 Observatory on Free Movement of Workers in the European Union

Contributing UK Expert. The Observatory reports to the European Commission on the policies, legislation and practices in the Member States concerning the free movement of workers and citizens.

2005 -13 Training and Reporting on European Social Security (trESS)

Variously, UK National Expert, Visiting International Expert, member of the Think Tank and member of the pool of Analytical Experts. trESS undertakes analysis and organises networks and training on the European coordination of social security schemes in the 28 EU Member States, three EEA States and Switzerland. It reports directly to the European Commission and comprises independent experts on European social security and cross-border healthcare. The aim is to increase the knowledge base about the coordination regulations and to build strong networks rooted at national level in all 32 countries. trESS also identifies and informs the European Commission of problems and challenges at operational level in the Member States. The Think Tank prepares analyses for the European Commission on specific subjects.

2011-13 Provision of a Disability Needs Survey

Policy Analyst. An investigation of both the prevalence of disability in the States of Guernsey, and how well public services meet the needs of disabled people and carers on the island. Funded by the States of Guernsey.

2012 International study of financial support for families with a disabled child

International six country study of financial support for families with a disabled child: Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Netherlands, United Kingdom. Funded by the National Disability Authority of Ireland - the independent statutory advisory body to the Irish Government on disability policy and practice - the study examines disability benefits for children including financing, eligibility criteria, coverage and policy developments and will inform the review of social security for families with disabled children in Ireland.

2011-12 Evaluation of Equality Act 2010

Policy Analyst. Evaluation of the operation of the Equality Act, 2010. The Equality Act 2010 consolidates the previous nine pieces of UK equality legislation based on protected characteristics to create, for the first time in the UK, unified equality legislation. The Act which applies across nine protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation, gives new protection to the fundamental right to equal treatment without discrimination anchored in Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the EU equality directives. Funded by the UK Government Equalities Office at the Home Office.

2011 Impact of the financial crisis on communities, families and patterns of public service use: an action research and learning partnership

Action Research by the University of Nottingham in collaboration with Nottingham City Council to look how communities are responding to the financial crisis, in particular how it is affecting families and whether it is altering how people use public services. The research will help local authorities better understand how the current Government's policies are affecting communities and help communities respond to the changes that are taking place.

2010-11 Technical Assistance for Capacity Building in Social Security in Turkey Senior EU Expert. Providing training to policy makers and lawyers in the Turkish Ministry (SGK) in EU law on free movement of labour, social security, healthcare and principles of non discrimination and role of EU institutions in the context of Turkey's application for EU membership. Outputs include a manual on EU law. Programme funded by the European Union and Turkish Republic under the EU Accession Process and the Social Acquis.

2010 Review of interaction between Income Support and Employment for States of Jersey

The University of Nottingham was commissioned by the Social Security Department (SSD), States of Jersey to conduct a review of the interaction between the Income Support system and employment as part of a broader review of the Income Support system as a whole. The review is based on interviews with policy makers and other key stakeholders, and a review of relevant documents, including committee papers, statistics, guidelines and manuals. The aim of review of the interaction between the Income Support system and employment is to support the comprehensive review of Income Support by providing specialist advice on how the Social Security Department might achieve higher rates of employment amongst Income Support recipients.

2009-11 EU-China Social Security Reform Co-operation Project

Senior EU Expert. Major reforms over the last two decades in China and the entering of WTO have resulted in rapid economic growth, but also challenges in terms of social consequences. The overall objective of the project is to support the transition to a sustainable social security system in China which guarantees accessible, adequate and affordable social security benefits to all Chinese citizens. Role involved designing and delivering training in best European practice in the administration of pension systems to social security ministries and designing and delivering training on quantitative and qualitative research methods for policy makers and researchers at Jilin University.

2009 - 10 Study of the gender dimension and discrimination in social protection

National Expert/European Thematic Expert. Fifteen country study of discrimination in social security on grounds of gender, age, disability, race or ethnic origin, sexual orientation and religion. The study has been commissioned by the European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities under the Progress Programme.

2009 - 10 Accessing Jobcentre Plus Customer Services Evaluation

Project Leader. This study is a post implementation review of the 'Accessing Jobcentre Plus Customer Services' interactive operating model. It aims to gather information to evaluate the success of the new model to deliver social security benefits to customers, determined by staff and customer responses and analysis of Management Information. This will also help to identify if the structure of the model is correct and also highlight any recommended amendments or changes. The study has been commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions.

2008 Impact of Family Breakdown on Children

A review of the literature on the impact of family breakdown on children in Europe funded by the European Commission. The findings of this project will assist Member States in the exchange of information, particularly with regard to the European Alliance for Families, the High level Experts Group on Demography Issues, and also the Open Method of Coordination on Social Protection and Social Inclusion. Key findings utilised for the Commission services report on demographic development.

2008 The impact of financial incentives in welfare systems on family structure.

Literature review to identify existing evidence on the impact of financial incentives in tax credit and benefit systems on family structure, primarily focussing on studies conducted in the UK and North America, but also covering other English-speaking countries. Funded by the Department for Work and Pensions.

  • ROBERTS, S., 2017. ‘The UK and Social Security Coordination after Brexit: Reinventing the Wheel or Mad Hatter’s Tea Party?' Social Security. Theory, Law, Practice. 13-27
  • ROBERTS, S., STAFFORD, B. AND HILL, K., 2017. Diluting substantive equality: Why the UK government doesn’t know if its welfare reforms promote equality. In: Inequalities in Britain: perceptions, actions, evolutions Emerald Group Publishing.
  • ROBERTS, S., 2016. ‘The Xenophobe’s Phrase Book’ in Zeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Arbeits- und Sozialrecht. 185-201
  • COUSINS, M., PENNINGS, F., ROBERTS, S. AND STAFFORD, B., 2016. Comparative systems of assessment of illness or disability for the purposes of adult social welfare payment: Carers: A report for the National Disability Authority of Ireland.
  • COUSINS, M., ROBERTS, S. AND STAFFORD, B., 2016. Comparative systems of assessment of illness or disability for the purposes of adult social welfare payments: Incapacity for Work: A report for the National Disability Authority of Ireland.
  • SIMON ROBERTS, 2016. Free Movement and Special Non- Contributory Benefits for Disabled People: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea ERA Forum. 17(2), 221-232
  • SIMON ROBERTS, 2015. ‘Is Cameron hoist with his own referendum petard?’ Discover Society.
  • ROBERTS, S. AND STAFFORD, B., 2015. ‘The reality of co-production: a case study of a deprived area’ In: Re-inventing public service funding and forms, Shaping the future - Re-invention or revolution? International Research Society for Public Management Conference 2015, University of Birmingham, 30 March - 1 April 2015.
  • ROBERTS, S. AND STAFFORD, B., 2015. ‘Equality and welfare reform: Why the UK government doesn’t know if its welfare reforms promote equality’ In: Inequalities in the United Kingdom: Perceptions, Actions, Evolutions at the University of Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, 10 and 11 April, 2015.
  • S. ROBERTS, 2013. Training and Reporting on European Social Security: UK National Report DG EMPL/E/3, European Commission.
  • PERREN, K., ROBERTS, S., STAFFORD, B. and HIRSCH, D., 2012. Evaluation of the Implementation of the Equality Act 2010: Report 1 - Organisational Approaches to Equality Government Equalities Office.
  • PERREN, K, ROBERTS, S. STAFFORD, B. AND HIRSCH, D., 2012. Evaluation of the Implementation of the Equality Act 2010: Report 2 - Awareness and Impact of the Equality Act. Stationery Office.
  • PERREN, K, ROBERTS, S. STAFFORD, B. AND HIRSCH, D, 2012. Evaluation of the Implementation of the Equality Act 2010: Report 3 – Disputes and Challenges Stationery Office.
  • ROBERTS, S., 2012. Training and Reporting on European Social Security: UK National Report DG EMPL/E/3, European Commission.
  • JORENS, Y., LHERNOULD J-P., AND ROBERTS, S, 2011. Handbook on European Social Security Law: Technical Assistance for Capacity Building of Social Security in Turkey. European Commission/Ministry of Social Security, Ankara.
  • S.ROBERTS, 2011. Training and Reporting on European Social Security: UK National Report DG EMPL/E/3, European Commission.
  • JORENS, Y (ED.), ROBERTS, S. (ED.), GARCIA DE CORTEZAR, C., SPIEGEL, B., STRBAN, G., 2011. ‘Think Tank Report: Analysis of selected concepts of the regulatory framework and practical consequences of social security coordination’. Training and Reporting on European Social Security DG EMPL/E/3, European Commission.
  • SIMON ROBERTS, 2009. A Short History of Social Security Coordination’ In 50 Years of Social Security Coordination' Publications Office of the European Union. (ISBN 978-92-79-14867-5)
  • ROBERTS, S., STAFFORD, B., DUFFY, D., ROSS, J. AND UNELL, J., 2009. Literature review on the impact of family breakdown on children: A report to the European Commission Brussels: European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Unit for Social and Demographic Analysis, Brussels.
  • STAFFORD, B. AND ROBERTS, S., 2009. The impact of financial incentives in welfare systems on family structure: DWP Research Report No. 569, Leeds: CDS.
  • ROBERTS, S., SCHULTE, B., GARCÍA DE CORTAZAR, C., MEDAISKIS, T. AND VERSCHUEREN H., 2009. Healthcare for Pensioners, trESS Think Tank report to the European Commission DG EMPL/E/3, European Commission.
  • ROBERTS, S. AND SAKSLIN, M., 2009. ‘Some are more equal than others: the impact of discrimination in social security on the right of same sex partners to free movement in the European Union’ Journal of Poverty and Social Justice Special Edition. Issue 3, October,
  • ROBERTS, S., 2008. “Hard working immigrants welcome”: social security for Polish migrants in the UK Polityka Społeczna. 2008(11-12 (416-417)), 6-12
  • JORENS, Y., LHERNOULD. J-P., FILLON, J-C., ROBERTS, S., AND SPIEGEL, B.,, 2008. Towards a new framework for applicable legislation: New forms of mobility, coordination principles and rules of conflict: TRESS Think Tank report to the European Commission DG EMPL/E/3, European Commission.
  • ROBERTS, S., 2007. Training and Reporting on European Social Security: UK National Report DG EMPL/E/3, European Commission.
  • HILL, K., HARVEY, J., PHUNG, V-H., SANDU, A., AND ROBERTS, S., 2007. Local Housing Allowance Final Evaluation: The qualitative evidence of claimants’ experience in the nine Pathfinder areas, Local Housing Allowance Evaluation Report Department for Work and Pensions, Leeds: Corporate Document Services.
  • PERREN, K., ANDERSON, BECKHELLING, J., BOREHAM, R., LI, N., PHUNG, V-H., AND ROBERTS, S., 2007. Local Housing Allowance Wave 3: Claimant Quantitative Report. Local Housing Allowance Evaluation Report
  • PERREN, K., ANDERSON, BECKHELLING, J., BOREHAM, R., LI, N., PHUNG, V-H., AND ROBERTS, S., 2007. Local Housing Allowance Wave 3: Claimant Quantitative Report. Local Housing Allowance Evaluation Report
  • ROBERTS, S., IVALDI, A., MAGADI, M., PHUNG, V., STAFFORD, B.R., KELLY, G. and SAVAGE, B., 2006. The Public Sector and Equality for Disabled People Corporate Document Services, Leeds, UK.
  • SIMON ROBERTS, 2006. The impact of ILO social security conventions in the United Kingdom. In: FRANS PENNINGS, ed., Between Soft and Hard Law: The Impact of ILO Social Security Conventions on National Social Security Law. Kluwer Law International

School of Sociology and Social Policy

Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Contact us