CIPD releases Work Manifesto ahead of general election

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The industry body wants politicians to make employment central to the next government's agenda

The CIPD is urging the next government to put ‘good work’ at the heart of its thinking to improve the economy and boost individual welfare and prosperity.

Its Manifesto for Work, released ahead of the general election on 8 June, calls for:

  • A pilot of revised Individual Learning Accounts, designed to encourage people to invest in their own lifelong learning, in collaboration with their employer.
  • A new voluntary target for 20% of FTSE 350 board-level executive directors to be women by 2020, as a stepping stone towards achieving equal gender representation on boards by 2030.
  • Legislation to allow workers on zero-hours contracts to request a minimum number of hours after 12 months of employment.
  • Voluntary human capital reporting standards to encourage more publicly listed companies to provide better information on how they invest in, lead and manage their workforce for the long term.
  • A Know Your Rights campaign, run by the government alongside employers, which would help inform people on the different types of employment status and their associated rights, to tackle the lack of knowledge about employment rights in an increasingly fragmented world of work.
  • Widening out the apprenticeship levy into a training levy to make it more flexible to employers’ skills development requirements.

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, said the next government must focus on improving trust in business. “The world of work and the notion of ‘good work’ must be at the heart of the next government’s thinking in order to improve trust in business, accelerate economic growth, and improve outcomes for Britain’s workforce,” he said.

“The key to building better businesses, and a better economy, is dealing with the longstanding challenges that have led us to a point where pay is stagnating, trust in business is declining, and there is falling investment in skills. We can only solve these challenges by investing in people through skills and training, reforming corporate governance to improve public trust, and increasing diversity in our workplaces."

Cheese said he hoped the measures would help Britain cope with the “challenges", such as Brexit, coming over the horizon. “By investing in skills and lifelong learning, boosting diversity in the workplace, and ensuring that we enhance and protect the rights of employees, we can not only transform corporate cultures but also help build the high-skill economy needed to cope with the challenges we’re facing,” he said.

"This election should be about the future of work, and it is vital that the next government puts the workplace at the heart of its agenda.”

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