UK job satisfaction and worker wellbeing could be monitored annually

UK job satisfaction and worker wellbeing could be monitored annually

A new report has recommended that the Government should survey workers annually about their job security, wellbeing and employer support.

The Measuring Good Work Report’, led by the RSA and the Carnegie UK Trust, recommends that the Government should better monitor the quality of work in the UK, by including questions about feelings of purpose, pay and pressure in the annual Labour Force Survey.

The recommendations follow the Matthew Taylor review, put together last year by the RSA Chief Executive who co-chaired this year’s Measuring Good Work report. The aim was to set up a roadmap as to how better-quality work can be achieved.

The report cites the increase in more flexible or ‘atypical’ forms of working in the last 10-15 years, a term that encompasses part-time workers, self-employed, agency workers, temporary workers, workers on ‘zero hours contracts’, and people working in the ‘gig economy’ – and the surrounding anxiety over lack of clarity on rights for this cohort.

For example, a recent TUC report highlighted that around one million UK workers cannot challenge minimum wage or holiday pay abuses due to being employed by recruitment agencies, umbrella companies and personal service companies.

The report, co-chaired by Matthew Taylor and Martyn Evans of the Carnegie Trust, states that surveying UK workers will improve policymakers’ understanding into how changes, such as the rise of the gig economy and automation, are affecting them.

This follows news that, despite the UK experiencing record levels of employment, there is the danger of underemployment. The number of people in work fails to account for issues like worker pay, whether employees feel they are trapped in a job below their skillset, are working too few or too many hours or are facing excessive workplace pressure, the report states.

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Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA, said: "A focus on record employment levels and the quantity of work only tells us so much. We do not know whether workers feel happy, well-treated, have opportunities for progression, work the number of hours they want to, or feel they have control over their working lives. To manage this problem, we must measure this problem.”

Martyn Evans, Chief Executive of the Carnegie UK Trust and Group co-chair, adds: “This is only the beginning of journey toward improving work in the UK, which will need commitment from government, employers, trade unions and campaigners.”

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Comments (1)

  • Boris
    Tue, 11 Sep 2018 1:00pm BST
    The fact that we have the highest number of working hours in the EU, but the least productive kind of answers this doesn't it?
    I think it would be a good idea to gather the opinions of real workers, but are the government prepared for the answers? Would it make any difference? Mention of a four day week seems to have been largely ignored too.
    Is it a good idea, yes it is. Will it make a difference, unlikely but i'm hopeful.

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