Michael's primary focus is social security (welfare benefits), using approaches that are solutions focused, participatory and based on consensus building. His core work is the Commission on Social Security led by Experts by Experience.
Other research areas have included active labour market policy, personal debt, taxation/fiscal welfare, public attitudes to economic inequality and Sen's Capabilities Approach.
Michael's work has been published widely in journal articles, research reports and book chapters. He has appeared as an expert witness before a Parliamentary Committee Inquiry, and his work has featured in Parliamentary Questions and attracted a variety of media coverage.
Michael joined the Institute for Employment Research at Warwick University in 2002. Prior to that he worked for over 15 years in the voluntary sector and local government. This included Citizens Advice Bureau (from being a volunteer through to Bureau Manager), an anti-poverty policy role in a local authority Finance Department, and being an Investigator for the Local Government Ombudsman - with the latter including a year working for the New South Wales Ombudsman, Sydney.