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Employment quality
This indicator captures what it means to be fulfilled at work and considers issues such as job
security. Young people, lower-skilled, part-time and temporary workers tend to face higher levels of
job insecurity for a range of reasons. The prevalence of involuntary long hours in a job is also a factor.
Working longer hours increases the risk of occupational illness (such as stress and mental health
problems). A culture has also grown up of unpaid overtime, with a recent national study suggesting
that roughly half of workers were not paid for overtime.
Education and training support individuals to develop and progress in work. Moreover, upskilling
can result in better employment rates, higher earnings quality, lower job insecurity and lower job strain.
Case Study – Pregnancy
From the employee perspective, the Taylor’s research found that 77% of mothers who were
surveyed said they had a negative or possibly discriminatory experience during pregnancy, maternity
leave or on their return from maternity and 50% of mothers described a negative impact on their
opportunity, status or job security. The survey research suggests that redundancy rate among mothers
at some point during pregnancy, maternity leave or on return from maternity leave is considerably
greater than the redundancy rate among female employees as a whole with 11% saying they felt forced
to leave their job.
Mandy had worked for a bank on a zero-hours contract for several months without any indication
from her employer of dissatisfaction with her work. However, when Mandy informed her employer she
was pregnant, her manager stated there had been complaints about her work. When she challenged
this, the manager changed the story to “you haven’t been working hard enough”. Mandy’s hours were
then reduced to zero. In effect, she was summarily dismissed.
Security of income
Agency work has an important part to play in a vibrant, flexible labour market and many choose to
work in this way. However, there is increasing evidence that some companies are relying on temporary
workers to fill longer term positions, with the same agency worker doing the same job for years. This
works for some people.
They have the freedom to leave whenever they want with no notice whatsoever but for many, this
level of uncertainty, not knowing whether work will be terminated and having no security of income,
does not work.
What is more, individuals in this situation can find it hard to seek work elsewhere, especially if
they fear taking time off from the current contract may count against them in future allocations of work.
“ Government can introduce a statutory right to a fixed hours contract after a period of time has
elapsed since the start of the employment relationship… this would ensure that companies cannot keep
workers on never ending agency contracts when they are, in effect, working a permanent job.” GMB
submission to Review
Security of opportunity
Progression is a key element of good work, and the government has a role to play in helping people
to progress within the labour market. As people work for longer and technology changes the skills
required in work, it is vital that people are able to continue learning throughout their working lives.
People also require support in work, sometimes to remain in the labour market through periods of ill
health. Time out of the labour market due to ill health significantly impacts on an individual’s ability
to progress later in their careers and so more should be done to support workers through these times.
Likewise, the demographic of the self-employed is changing and many require additional support or
advice on issues such as paying the right tax or saving for the future. There is a role for the government
in all of those areas.
In order to achieve this, we are:
` Ensuring the quality of apprenticeships by making sure they are real, paid jobs and include
sustained training and clear skills gain;
` Supporting the learning of working adults through the National Retraining Scheme and the career
learning pilots;
` Developing a unified framework of employability skills, as part of our technical education reforms,
which will be refined and tested by a range of bodies. This will also be made openly available to other
organisations such as employers and schools and the higher education sector to use if they wish;
` Performing deeper analysis and research into making statutory sick pay a basic employment right;
` Working across the government to understand how we can support self-employed people,
including consulting on tax-registration checks and starting a series of targeted interventions to identify
how auto-enrolment can best work for the self-employed.

The Taylor Review with the full title Good Work: The Taylor Review of Modern Working
Practices (July 2017) was a review submitted to the UK government concerning employee and worker
rights in UK labour law. It was chaired by Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of
the Arts. Its aim was "to consider how employment practices need to change in order to keep pace with
modern business models" and the report made a series of recommendations for reform.
Security, pay and rights
To what extent do emerging business practices put pressure on the trade-off between flexible
labour and benefits such as higher pay or greater work availability, so that workers lose out on all
To what extent does the growth in non-standard forms of employment undermine the reach of
policies like the National Living Wage, maternity and paternity rights, pensions auto-enrolment, sick
pay, and holiday pay?