Quality of work needs to improve to boost employee morale
Matthew Taylor, the President of the Royal Society of Arts, is currently heading up an independent review of modern employment practices.
The review is considering the implications of new forms of work on workers' rights and employers' obligations. Before completing the review and publishing a report (which he has declared will be published in June once the general election is over) Mr Taylor has published a survey which reveals that all is not well in the workplace.
The survey reveals that two thirds of people believe that work could be better, with a mere 1 in 10 believing that current working practices are fair. Mr Taylor stresses the importance of the public believing that change is necessary before such change can be successfully implemented. He aims to spearhead a national campaign to push for decent and fair work.
A central concern revealed by the survey is the lack of scope for people to progress in their working lives.
Recent gig economy cases involving Uber and Deliveroo highlight the insecurity of more flexible modes of working, while companies such as Sports Direct have received huge amounts of adverse publicity for their use of zero-hour contracts.
Productivity relies on low-skilled work and part of the challenge that employers face is how to make such work better in order to improve morale and lead to increased productivity.
Mr Taylor believes that if work is improved then it will lead to a stronger economy. There will be a reduction in the number dropping out of the workplace and becoming reliant on disability benefits if the quality of work improves.
Although there is currently a high quantity of work, the quality needs to improve. The survey has identified a need for workplaces that give people more autonomy. Mr Taylor points out that the people at the front line of work know when things aren't going well and know what needs to be done to improve. The survey reveals that more and more people don't feel fully engaged and are not being listened to.
Rebecca McGuirk, Partner comments "The central message of Mr Taylor's review is that bad work is unacceptable. People working in low paid, low-skilled jobs, are still being defined as "in poverty" and no job progression is being provided to help them. Whilst Mr Taylor has said that he will recommend that rules and regulations are needed in his report into the review of employment practices, he has stressed the importance of getting employers to understand the value of good work, and emphasised that this should be the norm rather than the exception."