While ‘getting Brexit done’ may be the new Government’s top priority, just as important to its success will be how its tackles some of the other major challenges central to the UK’s future prosperity. Making progress will require Government to focus on how to ensure people can develop the skills they need, as well as create more inclusive, fairer and productive workplaces across the country.
To influence policy making and highlight the areas of public policy where the Government should prioritise its attention, the CIPD has published its 2020 Manifesto for Work, which sets out four critical areas for action.
The manifesto firstly calls on Government to prioritise efforts to champion responsible and ethical business practices, ensuring organisations fully meet their obligations under the UK Corporate Governance Code.
Part of this requires a greater focus on employee voice, as well as an effort to ensure the rewards of senior executives reflect their performance and are more fairly aligned with those of the wider workforce. To help achieve this, the CIPD are calling for reform of the role of remuneration committees (RemCos), proposing they take account of issues such as organisational culture, fairness and diversity when making decisions on executive pay.
Secondly, to support the development of more inclusive and diverse workplaces, the new administration must ensure it continues boosting the uptake of flexible working across the economy. The Government can use its influence to create effective campaigns, working with professional bodies, unions and employers to educate and improve practice. It should also build on the impact of gender pay gap reporting, using the principle of transparency to drive employer action to address other disadvantaged or under-represented groups.
Thirdly, the CIPD will seek to work with Government on the key issue of skills, both in terms of how they are developed and utilised at work. This involves continuing to make the case for reform of the apprenticeship levy into a more flexible training levy, as well as highlighting the importance of the development of essential employability skills and the work of the Essential Skills Taskforce.
The Government also needs to help ensure employers can continue to find the skills and labour they need from outside the UK following Brexit. The CIPD will seek to work with the Government to help create a flexible, affordable and user-friendly immigration system post Brexit, drawing on in-depth research with CIPD members on this topic.
Finally, the manifesto also outlines policy calls to improve employment relations and well-being. The CIPD will be advocating the need to further raise awareness of employment rights and to reform how these are enforced, as well as for a continued emphasis on improving job quality and ‘Good Work’.
Central to making progress on this agenda will be a more progressive approach to enforcement, which puts at least as much emphasis on supporting organisations – particularly small firms – to improve their people management practices, as on fines and penalties. The Government also should adopt a set of national job quality metrics to help measure progress on Good Work and ensure it remains a public policy priority.
Championing better work and working lives
About the CIPD
At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.