New initiative aims to identify measurement approach to make job quality a national priority

October 12, 2017

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A new short-life group established by the Carnegie UK Trust and the RSA will consider how job quality can be measured and tracked on a UK-wide basis, supporting moves to make an increased focus on the issue a new national priority.

The ‘Measuring Job Quality Group’ will be co-chaired by Martyn Evans, Chief Executive of the Carnegie UK Trust, and Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of RSA and author of the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, published in July 2017. The Taylor Review was commissioned by the Prime Minister to consider how rising levels of in-work poverty and insecurity should be addressed.

A key recommendation of the Review is that government develop a set of metrics to measure success in improving the quality work. The Review recognised the need to identify such a measurement system in order to elevate job quality to the same status in public debate as quantity of work. The Measuring Job Quality Group intends to begin this process by scoping an optimal framework for measuring job quality in the UK.

The group, which met for the first time on 29 September 2017, is made up of senior representatives from across business, employee representative bodies, academia, charities and the public sector. Expert contributors from the TUC, Resolution Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, ONS, CIPD, Federation of Small Businesses, Warwick Institute for Employment Research, What Works Wellbeing, ACAS, IPPR, and employers Tesco and IKEA will join the Trust and the RSA to deliberate how the UK can measure and benchmark success in improving work.

Martyn Evans, Chief Executive of the Carnegie UK Trust, said:

‘Our experience in promoting wellbeing frameworks for government has taught us that “what gets measured gets done.” Before quality of work can become a national priority, we need a commonly agreed definition of good work and a way of measuring progress towards this goal which captures the reality of work and its impact on the quality of life for UK citizens. We are delighted to be working with Matthew Taylor and the RSA and our partners in the Measuring Job Quality Group to begin a process, which we hope will not only support the UK Government but all the jurisdictions in the UK to promote work which enhances wellbeing.’

Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA, said:

‘Now is the time for to make good work for all a national priority. The UK is rightly proud of its strong record in creating jobs, but we also need to ensure that people have routes to progress in work, can earn a fair wage, and that experience of work matches the aspirations we have for modern citizenship – namely that people feel they are respected, trusted and enabled to take responsibility.

In my Review, I set out an aspiration for all work to be “fair and decent with realistic scope for fulfilment and development.” The work of the Measuring Job Quality Group will help us understand how we achieve this goal for many more people. I’m looking forward to working with the Carnegie UK Trust and our partners over the coming months to develop a framework which can support the UK to measure, publicise and celebrate the levels of quality work in our economy.’