As the UK approaches its general election, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and trade union Prospect are urging the next government to adopt a new approach that prioritises good work.

Their joint report advocates for a strategy that boosts economic growth by improving job quality, working cultures, and people management practices.

Mike Clancy, General Secretary of Prospect, emphasised the importance of collaboration: “For too long the fight for good work and working conditions has been seen as separate, and indeed counter to, the drive for economic growth. We have shown that when employers and workers come together and collaborate on the terms of their endeavour, it benefits everyone.”

The report outlines several recommendations designed to enhance labour market participation, innovation, and productivity. These recommendations aim to integrate people-centric policies into the broader industrial strategy of the UK.

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of CIPD, highlighted the significance of this approach: “Competitive pressures, the growing disruption of technology, and the need for sustained economic growth all point to the importance of seeing people as central to labour market and business policy and a wider industrial strategy.”

Proposed Policies for Economic and Labour Market Improvement

The report suggests creating a Workplace Commission to unify labour market institutions, including employer bodies and trade unions. This commission would support government policymaking and build consensus on key workplace issues such as new regulations. To improve employer compliance and enhance employment standards, the report recommends developing a more progressive labour market enforcement system. This system would provide support to employers while ensuring they meet higher standards of employment.

The report advocates for stronger sector-based social partnerships and collective employer representation. This would improve how skills are developed and utilised within industry sectors, fostering better workplace practices. Another key recommendation is improving business support services at the national and regional levels. This approach aims to boost the people management and development capabilities of small and medium enterprises, particularly at the local level.