The IPA welcomes the publication of Matthew Taylor’s Review of Modern Working Practices and its focus on the need to promote good quality work that is ‘fair and decent’ for all workers. The report recognises, as the IPA has long argued, that ‘a greater voice in the organisational decisions that affect your job can make people feel better about their work’ and we are pleased to see the importance of consultative participation and collective representation is recognised alongside other key indicators of good quality work such as wages, education and training and work life balance. We read with interest the report’s suggestions to use WorkerTech to improve access to voice at work for the self employed and hope to explore these ideas in more detail. 

The report also rightly focuses on the need to improve conditions in the atypical working sector where work too often falls short of the ‘fair and decent’ description. While it is right that discussions continue around the details of defining employment statuses and aligning the tax system, there are other recommendations that can and should be acted on as soon as possible. Overall we hope that this report will trigger a national conversation about the importance that good quality work plays for all workers in the UK economy, both employed and self-employed, and in particular the value of a strong and independent voice at work. The IPA will this week be publishing our own research on engagement and good work for agency workers, which highlights some of the good practice that exist and which we hope others will emulate.

Promoting good work is important not only for the benefit of individual workers, but for the benefits that it brings to employers and to the wider economy. Today also saw the launch of the ‘Be the Business’ movement by the Productivity Leadership Group, aimed at tackling the UK’s productivity deficit. As we have long known and as ‘Be the Business’ rightly acknowledges, an engaged workforce must be at the very heart of any efforts to boost productivity, both at the individual, firm and national level. The IPA looks forward to working closely with and supporting this campaign over the coming months and years as we work towards the goal of all UK workers and employers embracing the value of ‘good work’. As the Taylor Review concludes, ‘Good work is something for which Government needs to be held accountable but for which we all need to take responsibility.’

Nita Clarke OBE is Director of the IPA