The CIPD has released a manifesto for good work, calling on the next UK government to develop a long-term workforce strategy.
The CIPD argues that the UK needs a joined-up workforce strategy covering three themes: skilled work, healthy work, and fair work. This is needed to tackle stagnating productivity, rising skills shortages, an ageing working population, and the UK’s transition to net zero.
In addition to government policy reforms, the CIPD says that organisations and people will need to adopt new ways of working, including adapting to or optimising the use of artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. They should also focus on improving job quality to support employee wellbeing, productivity, and labour market participation.
CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese said: “It’s essential the next UK government sets out a bolder, long-term vision for economic growth to raise job quality, innovation, and productivity across all sectors. Achieving this requires an inclusive industrial strategy for growth, and a strategy for jobs and good work, together with skills support and investment in the UK workforce to meet the opportunities and demands for the future.”
The CIPD manifesto makes a number of specific recommendations for the government, including:
- Develop a long-term strategy for the UK’s skills system to ensure it can deliver the range of technical and transferable skills employers need, particularly as the use of AI grows.
- Establish a high-quality, locally delivered business support service to boost employer investment in skills and people management capability, while supporting digital adoption and green transition.
- Reform the apprenticeship levy into a more flexible skills levy.
- Create more high-quality vocational training opportunities to tackle technical skills shortages.
- Ensure the immigration system is flexible and can address skills shortages.
- Create a well-resourced single enforcement body focused on employer compliance with the law.
- Ensure the Health and Safety Executive has the resources to encourage employers to meet their existing legal duty to prevent and manage stress at work.
- Develop locally delivered access to occupational health provision for employers, which is free for SMEs.
- Reform statutory sick pay, by removing the lower earnings threshold and raising the rate to the equivalent of the national living wage, to be paid from day one of absence and making it more flexible to support phased returns to work.
- Consider bringing responsibility for enforcing workers’ rights under the Equality Act 2010 within the remit of a properly resourced single enforcement body to help tackle discrimination.
- Promote and support flexible working, including considering a challenge fund to support employers to trial flexible working in non-office and frontline roles.
- Increase statutory paternity leave to six weeks at or near full pay.
- Review and reform shared parental leave.
- Enhance childcare support for working parents.
- Require employers to include pay and pension information in job adverts.
- Introduce more reporting requirements for employers, including mandatory action plans for gender pay gap reporting and mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting.
Supportis can help employers implement HR strategies for a more productive, inclusive, and equitable culture. Give us a call on 0161 603 2156 to see how we can help your business flourish.