Alan McCormack | Senior Associate

Calls for New Government to Focus on ‘Good Work’

The CIPD has called on whichever party wins the General Election next month to focus on creating the conditions for ‘good work’ in organisations across the country.

Manifesto for Work

In support of this call, the CIPD has published its ‘Manifesto for Work’, which contains a package of suggested employment reforms, including pay ratios, more rights for zero-hours workers and increased investment in skills and training.

“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,” explained Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD.

“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,” he added. “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.”

Raising Awareness of Employment Rights

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 centrepiece of its industrial strategy and take steps to improve gender diversity in the boardroom.

Specific reforms called for in the Manifesto include:

  • 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, and
  • 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.

Employers Want to Retain Existing Employment Law

In a separate piece of research focused on the future world of employment in the UK, the CIPD found that employers want to keep the majority of existing employment law post Brexit, and that there is no desire for a ‘bonfire’ of employment law.

In a survey of more than 500 employers, organisations were asked whether they viewed different aspects of employment law as necessary or not.

The list included unfair dismissal laws, rated as necessary by 93% of businesses, as well as national minimum wage (87%), parental rights at work (82%), agency workers laws (75%) and the Working Time Regulations (74%). All twenty eight areas of employment law surveyed were rated as necessary by a majority of employers.

However, while all of the regulations were considered necessary, there are many that are apparently seen as not well drafted and potentially difficult to apply. For example, the agency workers laws were rated as necessary by three quarters (75%) of businesses, but just a third (36%) said that they are well drafted and easy to apply. Similarly, whistleblowing laws are seen as necessary by 83% of businesses, but only half of that (41%) think they are well drafted and easy to apply.

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Alan McCormack

Alan McCormack

Employment Law Team

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