According to the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, a quarter of the UK workforce are experiencing financial insecurity, which is in turn having a knock-on effect on their performance. To put that claim into figures as much as 21% of the UK workforce report that they are just about managing financially, while a further 5% say they are finding things difficult.

This feeling of financial insecurity can have a severe effect not only in terms of added stress for workers and their dependents, but also for employers in terms of recruitment, retention and productivity. This has prompted Business in the Community (BITC), with support from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, to launch the Good Work for All campaign in an effort to encourage employers to improve the quality of work for their lowest-paid staff.

The new campaign will draw on best practice from forward-thinking organisations including Starbucks, Royal Mail, and Sodexo, advising employers on how they can best take action. So far over one-third of BITC members have reported taking company-wide action on low-paid work with successful outcomes.

Also provided as part of the campaign is the Good Work for All action plan for businesses, which offers evidence and practical steps for change, illustrated with business case studies across three key areas: offering fair pay and benefits; reviewing the security and structure of roles; and ensuring all workers have access to the skills and development opportunities needed to progress.

Catherine Sermon, Employment Director at BITC, says business has a key role to play, “With record numbers of people in employment we should be celebrating. However many jobs, predominantly but not exclusively at the lower end of the pay-scale, are not providing financial stability.

“This is worrying, particularly for some of the most vulnerable people currently in work. When there’s evidence to suggest someone with financial concerns loses on average six days of time at work each year, we can begin to understand the potential for businesses that choose to improve work for their low-paid employees.

“This new resource will support more businesses to take practical steps to improve working lives, with a positive effect on employee engagement, innovation and productivity.”

The Good Work for All project is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation as part of its work to solve UK poverty. Louise Woodruff, the foundation’s Policy and Research Manager, also commented:

“Businesses have a crucial role to play in solving the UK’s in-work poverty problem. This new action plan will be a great support for employers to share and learn from others about what works to improve the quality of jobs, especially for employees on low incomes. Improving pay, benefits, progression and job security will all contribute to making work the route out of poverty we would all like it to be.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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