BEL Research Seminar

Dr Katherine Ravenswood, Associate Professor in Employment Relations, is presentiong a seminar on the struggle to be safe and healthy in home support work during COVID-19.

The struggle to be safe and healthy in home support work during COVID-19

21 May 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Dr Katherine Ravenswood 
Associate Professor in Employment Relations, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law at AUT.

Seminar Details:

Home support workers and their unions have been battling to get their safety, and their clients’ safety, the attention it deserves. While supermarket workers have been quickly provided protective gear, home support workers have had trouble getting their work and its inherent risk during the pandemic even noticed. As of April 9th, 20 care and support workers, out of 64 healthcare workers, were infected with Covid-19 (

By the end of April, a total of 155 healthcare workers (across all jobs) had been infected – 1 in 10 of infections. Potentially, that’s around 50 or more home support workers (

The Auditor-General is currently reviewing the procurement and distribution of PPE in New Zealand. However, it is unclear how much they will review how PPE is distributed to frontline workers such as home support workers who are not directly employed by DHBs.

This seminar discusses why it is so hard to have the risk to home support workers, and their clients, recognized.

Register here for the free seminar.

About the Presenter

Dr Katherine Ravenswood is an associate professor in the Department of Management. She has held appointments with a number of academic and industry boards and organisations, such as the Association of Industrial Relations Academics Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ), the Global Carework Network, the Lifewise Board and the Kaiāwhina Workforce Action Plan.

She has also held several research leadership positions within AUT. Katherine focuses on high-quality research that has strong links with the community and industry and, as just one example, leads the New Zealand Aged Care Workforce Survey. Katherine’s research focuses on the examination of power, gender and diversity in the employment relationship. Her research expertise falls into 3 key areas:

  • Care/work regimes;
  • Gender and employee wellbeing;
  • Inequality, power and voice at work.