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“Make work good for all” – CIPD publishes ‘Manifesto for Work’ ahead of General Election

CIPD is calling for publication of pay ratios, additional rights for zero-hours workers and increased investment in adult skills in new Manifesto focused on ‘good work’

The CIPD has launched its ‘Manifesto for Work’, which urges the next Government to put ‘good work’ at the heart of its thinking in order to improve the economy, boost individual welfare and prosperity - creating the conditions for good work in organisations across the country.

The manifesto contains a package of reforms including pay ratios, more rights for zero-hours workers and increased investment in skills and training, which aim to address the systemic problems in the UK economy by focusing on the positive influence the world of work can have on productivity and well-being.

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD said:

“The world of work and the notion of ‘good work’ must be at the heart of the next Government’s thinking in order to improve trust in business, accelerate economic growth and improve outcomes for Britain’s workforce.

“The key to building better businesses, and a better economy, is dealing with the long-standing challenges that have led us to a point where pay is stagnating, trust in business is declining and there is falling investment in skills. We can only solve these challenges by investing in people through skills and training, reforming corporate governance to improve public trust and increasing diversity in our workplaces. This election should be about the future of work, and it is vital that the next Government puts the workplace at the heart of its agenda.

“Otherwise we risk a continued cycle of short termism, where accelerated executive pay and reduced investment in our workforces leads us to skills gaps, poor productivity rates and stagnant wages.”

As well as an overhaul of the UK Corporate Governance Code, the CIPD is also calling on the next Government to protect and raise awareness of employment rights, make skills the centerpiece of their industrial strategy and take steps to improve gender diversity in the boardroom. In addition, there is a call for organisations to focus more on greater organisational transparency so that businesses are more accountable for incorporating the principles of good work across their organisations.

These measures together are part of a package that would put people at the heart of the workplace, and instil the fundamental principles of good work that should be available to everyone.

The CIPD ‘Manifesto for Work’ specifically calls for:

  • a pilot of revised Individual Learning Accounts, designed to encourage people to invest in their own lifelong learning, in collaboration with their employer
  • a new voluntary target for 20% of FTSE 350 board level executive directors to be women by 2020 as a stepping stone towards achieving equal gender representation on boards by 2030
  • legislation to allow workers on zero-hours contracts to request a minimum number of hours after 12 months of employment
  • voluntary human capital reporting standards to encourage more publicly listed companies to provide better information on how they invest in, lead and manage their workforce for the long term
  • a ‘Know Your Rights’ campaign, run by government alongside employers, which would help inform people on the different types of employment status and their associated rights, in order to tackle the lack of knowledge about employment rights in an increasingly fragmented world of work
  • widening out the Apprenticeship Levy into a broader training levy to make it more flexible to employers’ skills development requirements.

Peter Cheese continued:

“The CIPD’s Manifesto for Work sets out the broad range of policies that we believe are necessary to help transform the UK economy into one that can cope with the challenges of the future and build strength, trust and stability into the system.

“In order to restore that trust, organisations have to be transparent, demonstrate that they are enshrining the principles of good work in their business and then apply them when it comes to reward strategies and skills investment. That’s why we believe businesses should invest in human capital reporting in order to measure the true value of their workforce and make the right decisions based on that data.

“By investing in skills and lifelong learning, boosting diversity in the workplace and ensuring that we enhance and protect the rights of employees, we can not only transform corporate cultures, but also help build the high-skill economy needed to cope with the challenges we’re facing.”

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