Our new research reveals that satisfaction with pay is low in Wales, with just 42% of workers feeling they are paid appropriately given their job responsibilities. The figures also suggest that 35% of workers are struggling to pay their bills from time to time, with 14% of workers constantly struggling to keep up with paying them.
However, overall job satisfaction shows that Wales is on par with the rest of the UK, with results showing that two-thirds of workers are satisfied with their job.
While most people have a reasonable work-life balance, significant minorities do not – more than a quarter (28%) of workers in Wales said they found it difficult to meet commitments in their personal life because of the time they spend at work, with carers in the UK struggling the most.
However, the report has highlighted a concern over dissatisfaction with pay. Based on the latest statistics, we know that Wales had the lowest average weekly earnings of all UK nations, reflected by the economy and cost of living compared to other nations and regions.
Aside from pay, there is a more mixed experience of job quality between workers in the public and private sectors. Headlines include:
- Workers in the public sector are more dissatisfied than their private sector counterparts with pay and several non-pay-related issues, which is reflected by the UK-wide results.
- Public sector workers are more likely to feel the negative effects of work on their mental health, and are more likely to feel excessive pressure, exhaustion and too great a workload in their roles.
Looking across both private and public sector in Wales, employees report mixed feelings on the effect of work on their health, with only one-third of respondents saying work affects their mental (36%) and physical health (30%) positively.
Practical recommendations for people professionals and line managers
The report also gives some practical recommendations for employers, people professionals and line managers on how to improve job quality, including:
- Developing trust, psychological safety; and cohesion among teams at work to build strong interpersonal relationships and create high-performing teams.
- Boosting recognition of financial wellbeing: understanding the implications of financial distress for both employee wellbeing and performance and integrating a financial wellbeing strategy into the wider wellbeing strategy.
- Emphasising the importance of work–life balance and flexible working to staff from day one, by consulting and collaborating with them to create hybrid working practices.
- Encouraging managers to enable employee voice, by providing them with training to build their understanding of how they can influence employees’ confidence to raise important issues at work.
- Boosting the organisation’s attractiveness to both potential new recruits and those within the organisation, engaging employees through the recruitment process and helping them to perform at their best.
- Developing an engaged and motivated workforce through ensuring staff feel properly supported and have both the autonomy and resources to shape their jobs in ways that suit their lifestyles.
Read the report and recommendationsGood Work Index 2023 - Wales
The CIPD Good Work Index provides an annual snapshot of job quality in the UK, giving insight to drive improvement to working lives