CIPD in a recent publication announced their manifesto for good work that aims to support economic growth ambitions in the UK. The manifesto focuses on how the UK Government should motivate systemic changes, particularly in the ways companies hire, develop and retain their workers.
By doing so, it is hoped that the UK can create a more productive, sustainable and inclusive economy that will support everyone to raise their living standards. Currently, the UK Government is dealing with various challenges in boosting economic growth, and living standards as well as maintaining the move to a net-zero economy.
Further, the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and skills shortages are complicating these challenges. Many sectors, particularly the public sector, have been experiencing various industrial actions for pay and working standards – which also contributes to the current state of the economy.
CIPD Manifesto for Good Work
In their manifesto, the CIPD explained that many of these challenges are due to the ongoing shifts in demographics and the UK’s consistently sluggish productivity growth, which is a response to the advancements in AI and the emergence of various new technologies.
There is a need to tap into the full skills and potential of the UK’s diverse and ageing workforce while encouraging employers to invest more in their employees and workplaces. This requires a comprehensive, long-term strategy.
Policymakers should adopt innovative approaches and policies, organisations and individuals should embrace new work methods, and our shared goal should be to improve job quality, benefiting employee well-being, productivity, and overall engagement in the labour market.
To achieve these goals, they outlined a set of interconnected changes organised under three key themes:
- Skilled Work: Urging policymakers to ensure that the education and training system aligns with the skills demanded by employers and supports the creation of more high-skilled jobs.
- Healthy Work: Calling upon the UK Government to take proactive steps to foster healthier and more harmonious workplaces, ultimately leading to increased productivity.
- Fair Work: Policymakers should prioritize boosting labour market participation while addressing discrimination and inequalities in both work access and career advancement opportunities.
- Skilled Work:
In the realm of skilled work, the focus is on developing a comprehensive industrial strategy to boost productivity across all sectors. This involves taking a broader approach to industrial strategy and making changes in skills, ESG reporting, innovation, and more.
To support this vision, there’s a proposal to establish an industrial strategy council, which would help connect national and regional economic growth strategies. The emphasis is on creating a robust, long-term strategy for the UK’s skills system, overseen by a statutory body, to address the impact of technologies like AI on the workforce.
- Healthy Work:
The importance of healthy work is underscored by the need for effective policies to create healthier workplaces and more productive work environments. A key recommendation is to establish a single enforcement body to protect workers’ health and rights, with a strong focus on employer compliance.
Stress management at work is a significant concern, and there’s a suggestion to empower the Health and Safety Executive to address workplace stress. Other proposals include improving employment rights for vulnerable workers, providing universal access to occupational health services for SMEs, reforming Statutory Sick Pay, and forming a task force to address the impact of AI on the workforce.
- Fair Work:
In the pursuit of fair work practices, the focus is on reducing disparities in access to employment and progression, particularly for disadvantaged groups. Recommendations include consolidating workers’ rights enforcement under a single body, promoting flexible work arrangements, and enhancing parental leave policies. The push for transparency involves including basic pay and pension information in job advertisements.
Additional proposals include legal rights to bereavement leave and pay and advocating for more menopause-friendly workplaces. The CIPD also calls for improved workforce reporting among large employers, with mandatory gender and ethnicity pay gap reporting and efforts to enhance transparency on workforce diversity, culture, and sustainability.