This independent review, conducted by Matthew Taylor of the RSA, Greg Marsh, Diane Nicol and Paul Broadbent considers the implications of new forms of work on employer freedoms and obligations and worker rights and responsibilities. It sets out 7 principles to address the challenges facing the UK labour market.
How much a person earns is often used to judge the quality of their job, but fair and decent work is about more than pay. The most recent British Social Attitudes survey shows that less than half of us feel our job is just a way of making money. What is more, the importance individuals place on having a high income has been declining in recent years . Whilst some workers might be happy to accept a poor working environment in exchange for higher pay, the reality is that this choice is not binary and poor working environments rarely result in higher wages.
For those in society who struggle to make ends meet, work is a pathway out of poverty. However, we have to examine why, with employment levels at record highs, a significant number of people living in poverty are in work. The introduction of the National Living Wage last year will help, but will not deal with this issue in isolation; in-work poverty is not just a matter of pay. Individuals can be paid above the National Living Wage, but if they have no guarantee of work from week to week or even day to day, this not only affects their immediate ability to pay the bills but can have further, long-lasting effects, increasing stress levels and putting a strain on family life.