Launch of Good Work benchmarking standard in London

July marked the launch of the Mayor of London's Good Work Standard – the first voluntary benchmarking scheme in the UK for businesses relating to good work. Companies which apply and meet the standards of good work will be officially accredited as a good employer by the mayor's office and be permitted to advertise this status and the good work logo. The standard, developed in partnership with CIPD and others, includes paying the London Living Wage of £10.55 per hour, improving wellbeing, promoting diversity and inclusion and providing training and progression pathways. Employers already signed up include KPMG and EY and key public sector organisations such as the Metropolitan Police, Tfl and the London Fire Brigade.


Work today just as secure as 20 years ago according to CIPD study

Analysis published by CIPD has found that levels of insecure work – including gig work and zero hours contracts – is no higher than it was in 1998. The proportion of the workforce on temporary contracts or in self-employment stood at 20% in both 1998 and 2018. The study concluded that the apparent rise in zero hours contracts since 2012 has been due to better awareness and increased reporting rather than actual changes in circumstances. The share of 'involuntary' temporary workers who would prefer a permanent job did rise substantially between 2008 and 2013 when it peaked at 40%, but it has since fallen back to just 27%, suggesting the effect is cyclical and similar to what was seen in the early 1990s when similar figures were reached. CIPD's Ben Willmott commented, “This suggests that more attention should be paid by policy makers and employers on improving job quality… low pay and discrimination, not simply on improving the rights and security of atypical workers, important though this is.”


Calls for 30-minute "general strike" at TUC Congress as part of climate protest

The University and College Union (UCU) has put forward a motion for September's TUC Congress calling for all UK unions to support a 30-minute "general strike" walkout in solidarity with the global school student strike on 20th September being led by Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg. The measure, being billed as a "solidarity climate stoppage" is hoped to encourage not only the 5.5 million UK trade union members but also other non-unionised workers to join in solidarity, as part of what is expected to be a week of major climate protest action around the world. However, concerns have been raised that the proposed walkout, if officially supported by TUC, would be illegal under UK trade union law as it would not give employers the required 14 days' notice. Nevertheless some employers are under pressure to give permission for their workers to join in the 30 minute stoppage.