More than we bargain for

Learning from new debates on how institutions can improve worker pay and security in Anglo-Saxon economies

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The UK’s tight labour market is delivering improvements for many, but big challenges remain that current policies and debates aren’t yet rising to meet. The UK can learn from emerging discussions and policy innovations in other Anglo-Saxon economies.

Mapping millennials’ living standards

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Intergenerational progress – the idea that each successive cohort should have higher living standards than predecessors at the same age – has slowed down markedly for today’s young adults. This puts their experience in stark contrast to the rapid cohort-on-cohort improvements in standards of living up until those born in the 1970s. Because many people … Continued

Atypical approaches: Options to support workers with insecure incomes

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There has been much debate about the certainty of income that atypical work provides, and whether the rights of workers are being consistently upheld. This report explores these issues, looking beyond a minimum wage premium, at how other high-income countries have sought to reduce one-sided flexibility in the labour market.

Choices, choices… Why do firms use agency workers?

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With the number of agency workers on the up, this piece of research explores why firms use this contingent type of labour rather than directly employed staff. We show that the majority of firms that make use of agency workers still hire them primarily as ‘stop-gaps’,. However, one-third of such firms take a more strategic approach, taking an active business decision to hire agency workers either extensively or exclusively for certain roles.

Work in Brexit Britain: reshaping the nation’s labour market

Almost a year after voting to leave the European Union the negotiations for the UK’s departure began on 19th June 2017. Those negotiations and the exact nature of the agreements they lead to will dominate British politics and policy making for the years ahead, but making a success of Brexit Britain is about far more … Continued

The minimum required? Minimum wages and the self-employed

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The minimum wage revolutionised the lower end of the UK’s labour market, protecting employees from exploitation. But the self-employed – now one in seven of the workforce – are not entitled to the minimum wage. With growing concerns over their earnings and conditions, particularly in the so-called gig economy, extending the minimum wage to some … Continued

Study, Work, Progress, Repeat? How and why pay and progression outcomes have differed across cohorts

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This paper is the fifth report for the Intergenerational Commission, which was launched in the summer of 2016 to explore questions of intergenerational fairness that are currently rising up the agenda and make recommendations for repairing the intergenerational social contract. It attempts to understand the concerning finding that millennials who have entered work so far … Continued

A tough gig? The nature of self-employment in 21st Century Britain and policy implications

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This Resolution Foundation analysis looks at the recent growth in self-employment. It focuses on: the sectoral make-up of the UK’s 5 million self-employed workers; the drivers of this growth since the recession; how the self-employed are treated differently in terms of tax and employment rights; and what policy challenges this raises. Key findings: Nearly 60 … Continued

Secret Agents: agency workers in the new world of work

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Through the course of this report we have uncovered much new information about the lives of the UK’s ‘secret agents’. We have found two groups of agency workers – the permanent and the self-employed – who have been missing from all previous accounts. We have discovered what agency workers do, where they work and who … Continued

Retention deficit: a new approach to boosting employment for people with health problems and disabilities

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The government has positioned halving the disability employment gap as a central challenge for the UK labour market. To make significant progress on this ambition, a comprehensive set of changes will be needed, alongside a cultural shift in how we view the connections between disability, health and employment in this country. The Green Paper on … Continued

The RF Earnings Outlook Q4 2015

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In terms of measured jobs market performance and the broader earnings picture, the key recent change has been a gloomier view on productivity, due both to poor Q4 outturns and in particular the downward forecast revisions at last month’s Budget. The productivity disappointment has been mirrored in more muted real average weekly earnings growth. The latest … Continued

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