Duncan Brown

MA, MBA, Chartered FCIPD, PhD

staff photo

Head of HR Consultancy

duncan.brown@employment-studies.co.uk

020 7104 2080

Duncan Brown leads the HR consultancy work at IES. He has more than 25 years' experience in HR consulting and research, with firms including Aon Hewitt, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Towers Perrin. He also spent 5 years as Assistant Director General at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Duncan’s clients include companies such as National Grid, Lloyds Banking Group and Guardian Media Group, public sector bodies including the Cabinet Office, House of Commons and NHS Employers, and not-for-profit organisations such as City University and the United Nations. He has also participated on Government taskforces on pensions, human capital reporting and fair pay, and has carried out studies for a number of the Pay Review Bodies.

Duncan is a prolific writer and speaker, with regular articles and blogs in the HR press. His last book was on reward effectiveness. Human Resources magazine placed him in its listing of the top five most influential thinkers in UK HR in the past three years.

Duncan has an MA from Cambridge, an MBA from the London Business School and recently completed his PhD in reward strategy at Kingston University.

Research publications

Articles and chapters

Conference appearances

  • Facilitator, Brown D, Minimum wages - Reputation and enforcement, Eversheds Sutherland seminar, Eversheds Sutherland, London, March 2018
  • Facilitator, Brown D, Minimum wages - Reputation and enforcement, Eversheds Sutherland seminar, Eversheds Sutherland, Birmingham, March 2018
  • Facilitator, Brown D, Minimum wages - Reputation and enforcement, Eversheds Sutherland seminar, Eversheds Sutherland, Manchester, March 2018
  • Facilitator, Brown D, Minimum wages - Reputation and enforcement, Eversheds Sutherland seminar, Eversheds Sutherland, Cardiff, February 2018
  • Facilitator, Brown D, Minimum wages - Reputation and enforcement, Eversheds Sutherland seminar, Eversheds Sutherland, Leeds, February 2018
  • Facilitator, Brown D, Minimum wages - Reputation and enforcement, Eversheds Sutherland seminar, Eversheds Sutherland, London, January 2018
  • Does engagement actually increase productivity in the workplace?, Brown D, Shaping the future of work: CIPD Annual Conference, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Manchester, November 2017
  • Pay (and reward?) trends and issues, Brown D, e-reward Annual Conference, e-reward, London, November 2017
  • Chair, Brown D, UCEA gender pay gap reporting workshop, Universities & Colleges Employers Association, London, November 2017
  • Employers' viewpoints: Human resources and the evolving employment landscape, Brown D, KNect365 Conference: Managing the gig economy, Informa, London, October 2017
  • Gender pay reporting, Brown D, Employee Benefits Live, Employee Benefits, Birmingham, October 2017
  • Latest insights on pay and reward, Brown D, Pay & Reward and Annual Meeting, CIPD West London Branch, London, June 2017
  • Chair, Brown D, Gender pay gap reporting workshop, Universities & Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), Manchester, June 2017
  • Chair, Brown D, Gender pay gap reporting workshop, Universities & Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), London, May 2017
  • Gender Pay Reporting: Will it work, what will close the gap?, Brown D, Coffee & Comp, Curo, London, May 2017
  • Workshop and panel discussion, Brown D, Reward in the NHS, NHS Employers, London, May 2017
  • Smart rewards and benefits to attract and retain great talent, Brown D, HR in Housing Conference, National Housing Federation, London, April 2017
  • What your pay strategies could look like by 2020, Brown D, REBA Reward Leaders' Forum 2017, Reba, London, April 2017
  • How to comply with new legislation on Gender Pay Gap reporting and advice on addressing Gender Pay Gap issues, Brown D, Expert Series: Gender pay reporting, CityWorks Forum, London, March 2017
  • How to Create an Effective Approach to Employee Financial Wellbeing - ‘Shaping good choices’, Spiegelhalter K, Brown D, Applied Research Conference, CIPD, London, December 2016
  • The latest research on equal pay, Brown D, Close the Deal, Fill the Gap: Final Conference, European Economic and Social Committee, Brussels, November 2016
  • Gender pay reporting: Important, undesirable or irrelevant?, Brown D, E-Reward Annual Conference, E-Reward, London, November 2016
  • Review of pay comparability methodology, Brown D, Rickard C, OME conference: Research on public sector pay, Office of Manpower Economics, London, October 2016
  • Benchmarking reward and compensation structures: let the market rip?, Brown D, Employee Benefits Live 2016 Conference, Employee Benefits, London, October 2016
  • Total reward and employee engagement: as easy as 'A' to 'B'?, Brown D, Employee Engagement and wellbeing: Sector projects and wider perspectives, UCEA & UHR, London, September 2016
  • Gender Pay Reporting - Context and Content, Brown D, GW4 Pay Equality Consortium, GW4, London, September 2016
  • To PRP or not to PRP, that is the question, Brown D, UHR Annual Conference, Brighton, May 2016
  • UK Reward Trends, Brown D, Pay and the labour market, CIPD West London Branch, May 2016
  • Reward, low pay and productivity, Brown D, DHL Employee Relations Conference, March 2016
  • Low pay trends in Europe, Brown D, IRN Annual Conference, Dublin, March 2016
  • REBA New Year Lectures: The soul and skills of reward and benefits professionals, Brown D, REBA, London, February 2016
  • Evidence on Gender Pay Gaps, Brown D, House of Commons Select Committee Enquiry, January 2016
  • Total Rewards: Time for Re-appraisal and Re-conceptualisation, A Concept past its Sell-by Date?, Brown D, EIASM European Reward Management Conference, Brussels, December 2015
  • The impact of the National Living Wage on employers: Who pays and how?, Brown D, The impact of the National Living Wage on employers: Who pays and how?, Eversheds, London, November 2015
  • How technology affects reward and engagement, Brown D, REBA Innovation Day, London, November 2015
  • The impact of the National Living Wage on employers: Who pays and how?, Brown D, The impact of the National Living Wage on employers: Who pays and how?, Eversheds, Leeds, November 2015
  • Education Competencies Consortium, Brown D, ECC, London, November 2015
  • Low Pay and National Minimum Wage, Brown D, McDonalds Franchise Forum, London, November 2015
  • Reward module teaching, Brown D, Kingston University International HR Managers, Moscow, November 2015
  • Keynote Speech: Gender Pay Reporting , Brown D, Employee Benefits Live 2015, Centaur/Employee Benefits, London, September 2015
  • Addressing Unequal Pay: Opening Pandora’s Box, Brown D, Coffee & Comp, Curo Compensation, London, September 2015
  • Christian Aid and pay ratios – a case of practising what you preach?, Brown D, Thinking High and Low: Exploring Pay Disparities in Society, High Pay Centre, London, September 2015
  • Opening Pandora's Box, Brown D, Equal Pay Seminar, GW4, Bristol, July 2014
  • Future reward strategies and innovation, Brown D, REBA Founder's Day, London, July 2015
  • Senior reward trends and issues in HE, Brown D, South West Universities HR Directors Group, UHR, Exeter, July 2015
  • Senior reward trends and issues in HE, Brown D, Northern Universities Reward Group, UHR, Leeds, June 2015
  • The role of sales compensation, Brown D, Revenue growth in financial services and the new accountability regime, Capventis, London, June 2015
  • Total Rewards: A concept past its sell-by date?, Brown D, E-reward Annual Conference, e-reward, London, June 2015
  • One size fits all? A strategic approach to total rewards, Brown D, NHS Confederation Conference, Liverpoool, June 2015
  • Current trends and key issues in setting senior pay, Brown D, Senior Pay in Higher Education Institutions, Universities and Colleges Employers Association, London, June 2015
  • Total Rewards: the future for HE or adopting a failed private sector model, Brown D, Universities HR Annual Conference, UHR, Leeds, May 2015
  • Post election Employment Debate, Brown D, The election and employment, Eversheds, London, May 2015
  • The Evidence and Viewpoints, Brown D, Reforming Performance Pay Conference, High Pay Centre, May 2015
  • HR progress and priorities in HE, Brown D, Strategy Awayday, Northampton University, Northampton, April 2015
  • FORUM on the Future of Gender Equality in the EU, Brown D, FORUM on the Future of Gender Equality in the EU, European Commission, Brussels, April 2015
  • Equal Pay: A Moving Target, Brown D, Equal Pay: A Moving Target, Brighton University Business School and the Equality and Diversity Research Network, Brighton, March 2015
  • Reward Strategy Masterclass, Brown D, Kings College HR MsC Students, Kings College, January 2015
  • Chair, Creating the workforce you need for the challenges ahead, Brown D, The Guardian HR Summit 2011, London, January 2011
  • Using Communications to Enhance the Impact of Reward Practices, Brown D, Compensation & Benefits 2010, 4th Annual Pan European Conference: Building Excellence in your Reward Practice, Marcus Evans, London, November 2010
  • Appraisal and the KSF, Brown D, NHS Employers Annual Conference, NHS Employers, Liverpool, November 2010
  • Panellist: Do we need to bring executive pay under control and focus on internal fairness rather than supposed market and performance-related factors?, Brown D, 3rd Annual HR Leaders Congress, HR Leadership Alliance, London, November 2010
  • Reflections on employment relations panel session, Brown D, Annual Labour Relations conference: pressures on partnership, Eversheds, London, November 2010
  • Reward communications: why does it never get any better?, Brown D, Annual Reward Management Update, E-Reward, London, November 2010
  • Total reward as a driver of employee motivation, Brown D, East of England Employee Relations Forum Autumn Conference 'Reward: Motivate: Retain', Huntingdon, November 2010
  • Total rewards: what does it mean?, Brown D, Acas/EEERF Autumn Conference, Acas, Huntingdon, November 2010
  • The Future for Personnel, Brown D, Tesco Personnel Conference, Tesco, London, November 2010
  • Conference chair, Brown D, CIPD Performance Management Conference, CIPD, London, October 2010
  • Reward communication and employee engagement: the missing link, Brown D, Employee Benefits Live, Centaur, London, September 2010
  • Chair, Brown D, Total rewards, Office of Manpower Economics, September 2010
  • Discussant: HR Leadership and sustainable high performance, Brown D, Managing Uncertainty: A new deal? International challenges and the changing face of work. Work, Employment & Society Conference 2010, British Sociological Association, Brighton, September 2010
  • Engaging staff with no money, Brown D, CIPD North London branch seminar, Middlesex University, September 2010
  • Public sector pay and performance in a time of financial constraint, Brown D, Workforce performance and reward in the civil service conference, Civil Service World, London, July 2010
  • Reward in a Recession, Recovery and the Uncertain Future, Brown D, Yorkshire HR Directors' Forum, DLA Piper, Leeds, June 2010
  • Performance-related pay and incentives: cause of the crash or essential to recovery?, Brown D, HR Strategy Meeting, IBDG, London, June 2010
  • Total reward: what does it mean?, Brown D, Doctors and Dentists' Review Body, Office of Manpower Economics, London, May 2010
  • HR: Where does it go after Ulrich?, Brown D, European Commission, Directorate General HR and Security, Brussels, May 2010
  • Panel discussion on organisational redesign in large authorities, Brown D, Designing a fit-for-the-future organisation, IDeA Workforce Matters community, (online), May 2010
  • Keynote Address: How do you quantify motivation, retention and engagement?, Brown D, Rewards & Benefits 2010, Osney Media, London, May 2010
  • Successfully redesigning your organisation, Brown D, Achieving new organisational structures: Delivering more for less, Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA), Birmingham, May 2010
  • Rewarding for the recovery, Brown D, Thomson's Reward Club, London, May 2010
  • Reward after recession, Brown D, Cambridge HR directors' forum, Cambridge, May 2010
  • Pay and Rewards: major changes or back to 'normal', Brown D, Cambridge Leaders Academy seminar, Cambridge Leaders Academy, Cambridge, April 2010
  • Workforce restructuring: Can you cut headcount and maintain levels of service and morale?, Brown D, Resourcing Futures Roundtable, Hays, London, April 2010
  • Webcast panel member, Brown D, Employee Benefits' Pensions roundtable in association with Scottish Widows, online, April 2010
  • Panel debate, Brown D, A decade of change in employee voice, London School of Economics and CIPD, London, March 2010
  • Reward in tough times, Brown D, Diageo European HR Conference, Diageo, Twickenham, March 2010
  • The changing face of reward, Brown D, The changing face of reward, Hay, London, March 2010
  • Reward in tough times, Brown D, Maximising potential in a changing environment, Northern Housing Consortium, York, March 2010
  • Employment policy panel discussion, Brown D, Eversheds Employment Counsel Conference, Eversheds, London, March 2010
  • Non-cash rewards: achieving more for less, Brown D, CIPD Reward Forum, CIPD, London, January 2010
  • Reward strategy, Brown D, Leading Employee Engagement in Recession and Beyond, Cranfield University School of Management, Cranfield, December 2009
  • Increasing the effectiveness of reward management: an evidence-based approach, Brown D, Reilly P, Armstrong M, European Reward Management Conference, European Institute for Advanced Studies, Brussels, November 2009
  • Less is more: the workforce skills conundrum, Brown D, Workforce Futures Roundtable, Hays, London, November 2009
  • Performance and Reward, Brown D, HR Leadership Alliance, 2009 Annual Congress, London, November 2009
  • Evidence-based reward management, Brown D, Reilly P, E-reward annual update, E-reward, London, November 2009
  • Keynote address, Brown D, Third Sector Reward Conference, Agenda Consulting, London, October 2009
  • Recession Proof your Benefits: Linking Rewards and Benefits to Business Performance to Create a Win-Win Outcome for Employer and Employee!, Brown D, Employee Benefits Live 2009, London, September 2009
  • Managing Rewards in Hard Times, Brown D, Seminar: Lancaster University Centre for Performance-led HR, Lancaster University Management School, London, September 2009
  • Managing Employee Rewards During Recession: How do you motivate people with no pay increase?, Brown D, Employee Benefits Live 2009, London, September 2009
  • Reward in recession, Brown D, HR Efficiency: reducing costs without reducing performance, Capita, London, September 2009
  • Rewarding for the future, Brown D, CIPD East Midlands conference, CIPD, Loughborough, September 2009
  • Rewards in recession, Brown D, Eversheds HR Summer School, Eversheds, Ashridge, July 2009
  • Performance management: important but impossible, Brown D, NHS HR Student Conference, NHS, Blackburn, July 2009
  • Total rewards in recession, Brown D, Employee Benefits Summit, Employee Benefits Magazine/Centaur, Monte Carlo, June 2009
  • Rewards: building the balance in recession, Brown D, Reward and Benefits 09, Osney Media, London, May 2009
  • HR consulting: the real story, Brown D, CIPD West London branch seminar, London, May 2009
  • Reward strategy workshop, Brown D, Osney Media, London, May 2009
  • Equal pay: moving beyond compliance, Brown D, London Councils/Capital Ambition workshop, London, May 2009
  • Reward in recession, Brown D, RHS Pay Club Meeting, London, May 2009
  • HRM in Recession, Brown D, NHS North West HR Directors' Meeting, Haydock Park, April 2009
  • HRM in the Recession, Brown D, Managing Partners' Forum, Birmingham, April 2009
  • Measuring the effectiveness of pay and reward practices, Brown D, Manchester Metropolitan University Biannual Performance and Reward Conference, Manchester, April 2009
  • Rewards in recession, Brown D, Big Crew Change, ACI, London, March 2009
  • Finding the balance in your reward strategies, Brown D, IBDG Strategy Meeting, London, March 2009
  • M and A: The Integration Dilemma, Brown D, JSB Workshop on HR in Mergers and Acquisitions, London, February 2009
  • Rewards in Recession, Brown D, CIPD West London branch meeting, Ealing, February 2009
  • Maximising performance through reward, Brown D, CIPD Annual Reward Conference, London, February 2009
  • Reward in the new world, Brown D, Media HR Group including managers from the Economist, Independent, Pearson, Reed Elsevier and Guardian Media Group, London, January 2009
  • Restructuring and redundancy, or redeployment and re-engagement? Managing and rewarding employees during the recession, Brown D, Managing Partners Forum Meeting, Bristol, January 2009
  • Rewards in the downturn: the end of market and performance pay?, Brown D, E-reward Annual Conference, December 2008
  • Measuring reward effectiveness, Brown D, IBDG HR Directors' Summit, London, November 2008
  • What's happening in job evaluation?, Brown D, Subsea 7 Global HR Meeting, Aberdeen, October 2008
  • Reward trends in the downturn, Brown D, CIPD Birmingham branch, October 2008
  • Reward strategies in the downturn, Brown D, PWC HR Network, Stoke Poges, October 2008
  • Trends in Performance Management, Brown D, UCEA, Issues in Performance Management conference, London, October 2008
  • Incentives: Do they work?, Brown D, IES HR Network debate, London, October 2008
  • Measuring reward effectiveness, Brown D, Employee Benefits Annual Conference, Islington, October 2008
  • Segmentation and Total Rewards, Brown D, IES HR Network, London, September 2008
  • Restructuring and redundancy or recruitment and retention?, Brown D, Managing Partners Forum, Manchester, September 2008
  • HR consulting: the real story, Brown D, Kings College HR Masters students and alumni, London, June 2008
  • Attracting and rewarding talent, Brown D, PwC Talent Network, London, June 2008
  • The rewards they are a'changing, Brown D, E-reward Spring Conference, London, June 2008
  • Reward past, present and future, Brown D, Osney Media European Reward Summit, London, May 2008
  • Are people really our greatest asset?, Brown D, ICAEW / HR Society joint meeting, London, May 2008
  • Employee engagement: why bother?, Brown D, Anuman Annual ER Conference, April 2008
  • The International Reward Balancing Act, Brown D, PwC European client conference, Rome, April 2008
  • What's happening in reward?, Brown D, CIPD West London branch, Ealing, March 2008
  • Where is HR Heading?, Brown D, CIPD Sussex branch conference, Roffey Park, March 2008
  • Innovations in reward, Brown D, IBDG HR Directors' summit, London, March 2008
  • Strategic Reward Masterclass, Brown D, Business Intelligence, London, February 2008
  • The future for the HR function, Brown D, HR Network Scotland conference, Edinburgh, February 2008
  • Making Reward Strategy Happen, Brown D, CIPD Annual Reward Conference, London, February 2008
  • Measuring the effectiveness of your reward strategy, Brown D, E-reward annual conference, London, November 2007
  • New ideas in reward, Brown D, IDS Pay Planning conference, London, October 2007
  • Reward strategy: making it happen, Brown D, HR Norge Annual Conference, Oslo, October 2007
  • Navigating the reward strategy jungle, Brown D, PwC Legal Network, London, October 2007
  • Total rewards: what does it mean?, Brown D, Employee Benefits Annual conference, Islington, October 2007
  • Reward strategies: making them happen, Brown D, European Pharmaceutical Reward Network, Vienna, September 2007
  • What's happening in reward?, Brown D, PwC HR Directors' groups, Glasgow, Leeds, Bristol and Birmingham, Autumn 2007
  • Strategy: what's reward got to do with it?, Brown D, London Business School Alumni Human Capital Network, London, July 2007
  • Global trends in HR, Brown D, LVMH Global HR Conference, Edinburgh, July 2007
  • Implementing reward strategies, Brown D, PwC Compensation Network, London, June 2007
  • Rewarding contribution at West Midlands Police, Brown D, Public Sector People Management Conference, London, May 2007
  • Line managers and reward, Brown D, Reward in Financial Services conference, Marcus Evans, London, May 2007
  • Reward and the line: business partnering in practice?, Brown D, Employee Benefits Northern conference, Manchester, May 2007
  • What's happening, what needs to happen in UK rewards?, Brown D, UCEA Reward Conference, London, April 2007
  • Reward strategy, Brown D, CIPD West London branch, Ealing, March 2007
  • Reward strategy, Brown D, CIPD Central London group, London, March 2007
  • Rewards and business performance, Brown D, Cranfield MBA students, Cranfield, March 2007
  • Reward strategy: the implementation challenge, Brown D, CIPD Rewards Forum, London, March 2007
  • The business case for age diversity, Brown D, CIPD/TUC Age Conference, London, February 2007
  • Reward strategy, Brown D, Docklands Personnel Group, Canary Wharf, February 2007
  • Linking HR and business performance, Brown D, HR Directors' Summit, Newport, January 2007

Advisory roles and affiliations

  • Member of the HR Advisory Group at London School of Economics and Political Science (2017 - present)
  • Visting Professor at Greenwich University (2017 - present)
  • Visiting Fellow at Kingston University (2015 - present)

Projects