The Carnegie UK Trust, which seeks to improve people’s wellbeing, is urging the government to pay more attention to the implications of the current health pandemic on the future of jobs, particularly for the most disadvantaged.
In its report, “Good Work for Wellbeing in the Coronavirus Economy”, it argues that there has been insufficient attention to date on the immediate, medium and long-term implications of the pandemic for key aspects of job quality. This includes issues such as pay; terms and conditions; health, safety and psychosocial wellbeing; job design; social support; work-life balance; and voice and representation.
While access to work is highly important to wellbeing, the Trust points out that access to “good work” is also vital. The problem is that the groups of workers most adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) are generally low paid and in precarious employment, particularly women, young people, black, Asian and minority ethnic workers, and people with disabilities.
To make matters worse, many of these workers are clustered disproportionately in the sectors most impacted by the economic shutdowns and restrictions, such as retail, hospitality as well as health and social care. They were also among the most disadvantaged workers in terms of access to good quality employment even before the onset of the crisis.
The Trust has therefore made a number of recommendations which it would like the government to introduce, such as:
- Making a public commitment to placing a focus on good work as a central part of its coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery plans
- Putting disadvantaged workers at the centre of their good work plans
- Reminding employers of their statutory obligations around pay, terms and conditions, health and safety, employee consultation and equalities
- Encouraging employers to sign up to the voluntary Living Wage, Living Hours or Living Wage Places accreditation schemes
- Delivering on the commitment to increase the minimum wage to two-thirds of median incomes by 2024 and providing targeted support to the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to help meet this target
- Reinstating gender pay gap reporting and implementing ethnic minority pay gap reporting as a matter of urgency
You can read the report in full here.