Committee on Climate Change issues ‘net zero by 2050’ target

Following a request from the governments of the UK, Wales and Scotland, the Committee of Climate Change has published a new report recommending that the UK reduce its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050. This target, which the government is considering whether to pass into law, would involve radical change to almost all sectors of the UK economy, particularly in transport, construction and industry, with increased use of electric vehicles, biofuels, carbon capture and storage and hydrogen gas replacing much of our current industrial energy and fuel infrastructure. The workforce implications of this range of forthcoming changes is something to be explored in more detail.


New insourcing trend returns services to public sector

After many years of outsourcing and privatisation, there is a growing trend across local authorities to return services in-house. A report by the Association for Public Service Excellence has shown that over 220 local government contracts have been returned to council control in the past two years and 77% of UK councils plan to bring further services back in-house in 2019, with cost savings and reduced risk of mistakes being the two major motivations. Nationally, the government this month announced that privatisation of the probation service is being ended after reported failures, as is the outsourcing of NHS cervical cancer screening to Capita.


Two major steps towards employee ownership

In a dramatic move founder of Richer Sounds, Julian Richer, has announced he is handing control of his company to the workforce, transferring 60% of shares into a John Lewis style trust for the company’s 531 employees. The company has paid £9.2m to him for the stake, but he is returning £3.5m directly back to workers in the form of a £1,000 payment per year of service to every employee. Meanwhile, BT has announced it will be awarding £500 worth of shares to each of its 100,000 staff in a step towards a “new inclusive form of capitalism”.