In his annual lecture last night, RSA Chief Executive Matthew Taylor argued that all work should be good work, which he defined as “fair and decent, with scope for development and fulfilment”. He set out five reasons why it is time to commit to a good work economy: in-work poverty; health and wellbeing; productivity; the impact of automation; and to foster habits of active citizenship.
Matthew Taylor said: “For most of us work is one of the most important things in our life. We spend a lot of our time doing it. It’s how we support ourselves and our families. It’s often where we forge strong friendships and even meet partners. Given how important work is, at the RSA we’re arguing that it should be good for us and good for society.
“Over recent decades, government work policy has focused primarily on getting people into jobs with, as current record employment levels attest, considerable success. Yet persistent scandals of bad working conditions, poor legal safeguards and job insecurity suggest that bad work is all too common. We need, therefore, to talk about quality of work, and not just quantity.
“At the RSA, we define good work as ‘fair and decent with scope for fulfilment and development.’ I believe this is a realistic aspiration for people at all stages of their careers, in all types of employment and at all levels. Ahead of the Government Review I will be publishing in the summer, now is the time to put good work on the national agenda.”
The lecture follows the #GoodWorkIs social media initiative, which launched last week with backing from. Demonstrating that there is there is strong support for the concept of good work and quality jobs across civil society, industry and the wider public, Twitter and Facebook users have taken to social media to explain what good work means to them.
John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Usdaw is supporting the RSA to gather evidence about what makes good work. Our members deserve good work and we will be promoting the initiative. This is a great chance for Usdaw members to make it clear what good work means to them.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest trade union with nearly 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
What does good work mean for you? https://www.thersa.org/discover/publications-and-articles/matthew-taylor-blog/2017/05/what-does-good-work-mean-for-you
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion