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Nottingham Civic Exchange response to Modern Employment Review

Nottingham Trent University’s Honorary Professor Matthew Taylor publishes his findings from a nine-month review exploring issues affecting workers across the UK.

Modern working environment
Review into Modern Working Practices is published

Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA which is a partner of the University, visited Nottingham earlier in the year to hear from a range of residents, workers and employers as part of his review. He has now created seven principles for the government to consider. The Taylor Review is published today and its report is available on the Government website.

Nottingham Civic Exchange, based at NTU, has analysed work and occupations from a regional perspective whilst exploring the lives of Ordinary Working Families across the region.  The Review’s findings chime with Nottingham Civic Exchange and NTU academics’ understanding of insecure and precarious work locally.

Nottingham Civic Exchange’s analysis of income and occupations recognises the volume of low paid jobs across the region and has highlighted that average household income was 20% below the UK average in Nottingham City. While Nottingham as a whole continues to enjoy considerable growth, moving all workers into stable and high wage jobs is a challenge society continually strives for, however, good work across all sectors also needs to be developed, to ensure people undertake meaningful and well supported jobs.

The seven principles set out in the Taylor Review are highly relevant to policy makers across the East Midlands and Nottingham and Nottingham Civic Exchange is urging policy makers and the business community to consider how they can help implement these principles.  It will be considering how these principles are reflected in further research it is undertaking, exploring households’ lived experiences.

Dr Paula Black, Director of Nottingham Civic Exchange, said: “These principles challenge us all to consider how we develop good work for all those working in the UK and will help to shape a more inclusive and supportive society.

“Nottingham Civic Exchange will reflect on these principles in our ongoing work on Ordinary Working Families.”

As part of this ongoing research, Nottingham Civic Exchange is asking people to consider submitting their thoughts to its open call for evidence. More information is available on the website.

  • Notes for editors

    Matthew Taylor’s 7-principles for fair and decent work are:

    1. Our national strategy for work – the British way – should be explicitly directed toward the goal of good work for all, recognising that good work and plentiful work can and should go together. Good work is something for which Government needs to be held accountable but for which we all need to take responsibility.

    2. Platform based working (a business model which facilitates exchanges between two or more groups, usually consumers and producers), offers welcome opportunities for genuine two way flexibility and can provide opportunities for those who may not be able to work in more conventional ways. These should be protected while ensuring fairness for those who work through these platforms and those who compete with them. Worker (or ‘Dependent Contractor’ as we suggest renaming it) status should be maintained but we should be clearer about how to distinguish workers from those who are legitimately self-employed.

    3. The law and the way it is promulgated and enforced should help firms make the right choices and individuals to know and exercise their rights. Although there are some things that can be done to improve working practices for employees, the ‘employment wedge’ (the additional, largely non-wage, costs associated with taking someone on as an employee) is already high and we should avoid increasing it further. ‘Dependent contractors’ are the group most likely to suffer from unfair one-sided flexibility and therefore we need to provide additional protections for this group and stronger incentives for firms to treat them fairly.

    4. The best way to achieve better work is not national regulation but responsible corporate governance, good management and strong employment relations within the organisation, which is why it is important that companies are seen to take good work seriously and are open about their practices and that all workers are able to be engaged and heard.

    5. It is vital to individuals and the health of our economy that everyone feels they have realistically attainable ways to strengthen their future work prospects and that they can, from the beginning to the end of their working life, record and enhance the capabilities developed in formal and informal learning and in on the job and off the job activities.

    6. The shape and content of work and individual health and well-being are strongly related. For the benefit for firms, workers and the public interest we need to develop a more proactive approach to workplace health.

    7. The National Living Wage is a powerful tool to raise the financial base line of low paid workers. It needs to be accompanied by sectoral strategies engaging employers, employees and stakeholders to ensure that people – particularly in low paid sectors – are not stuck at the living wage minimum or facing insecurity but can progress in their current and future work.

    About Nottingham Civic Exchange

    • Nottingham Civic Exchange is the only university place-based think tank created to carry out original research designed to influence government policy affecting its region’s population.
    • Its research will be carried out with and by the communities in Nottinghamshire, helping to empower citizens.
    • NCE is a strategic partnership between Nottingham Trent University and the RSA designed to build on existing links between the two institutions and combine their long histories of civic engagement to increase the reach of NCE’s work and position it at the forefront of public debate.

Nottingham Civic Exchange response to Modern Employment Review

Published on 11 July 2017
  • Category: Press office; Nottingham Civic Exchange; School of Social Sciences

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