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The UK Insecure Work Index

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The Work Foundation is the leading think tank for improving work in the UK. We have been an authoritative, independent source of ideas and analysis on the labour market and the wider economy for over a hundred years.


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  • Will ‘historic recognition’ union deal deliver for Deliveroo riders?

    Yesterday it was announced that Deliveroo has signed a historic recognition deal with GMB Union, covering the company’s 90,000 food delivery riders. While formal union recognition at Deliveroo is a positive signal, it remains to be seen how significant this will be and whether riders will see more rights and protections.

  • Will the Chancellor's announcements be enough to support families through the cost of living crisis?

    The Chancellor announced a package of measures worth £15 billion to address spiralling prices for energy and other essentials. Although this announcement was welcome, with the long-term economic prognosis looking bleak, further policy development and strategy will be required.

  • High employment and economic inactivity underscores the need for a different approach

    Following concerning GDP figures yesterday indicating the potential signs of a recession to come, today’s labour market statistics show a very mixed picture. While employment is up on the quarter and up on the year, it still remains below pre-pandemic rates. While overall unemployment is down on the quarter and on the year, short-term unemployment has increased for the first time since 2020, and economic inactivity levels still remain stubbornly high.

  • We need long-term plans, not populist policies, to improve participation in the labour market

    As commentators call for an extension of welfare conditionality, this piece highlights the potential harm that could cause and underlines the importance of personalised employment support and flexible, secure and good quality work.

  • Digital Boundaries and Disconnection at Work – A Guide for Employers

    This guide to digital boundaries and disconnection at work, produced jointly by the Work Foundation and Prospect, explores the implications of an 'always on' culture for businesses, teams and individuals, and lays out key principles to help employers develop their own approaches that support workers to fully disengage from work outside of core hours and when on leave.

  • Unlocking flexible working

    Government has proposed reforms to flexible working regulations, but to support wider access to flexible working, barriers to take-up should be addressed.

  • “Unpaid minutes are a sign of the times”: financial insecurity in the gig economy

    The Covid-19 pandemic prompted a surge in demand for courier and food delivery services in the UK. However, gig work is highly financially insecure. Recent research from Lancaster University highlights how unpaid waiting time plays a significant role in lowering average earnings for bike couriers and suggests new avenues to shift power to couriers.

  • What can we learn from family businesses in a changing world?

    Family businesses employ 14 million people in the UK, accounting for roughly half of all private sector employment. And given how they are constituted and the longevity that many have enjoyed, they may also have lessons to teach us about how to be resilient to changes in the labour market and the economy more widely.

  • Queen’s Speech 2022: Another missed opportunity to improve working conditions for millions of low-paid and insecure workers

    The Work Foundation set out three key tests for the Queen’s Speech to help judge whether both the short and long-term policies and measures announced are likely to make working lives better. Our analysis reveals the speech was a missed opportunity to commit to providing additional support to millions of working families through the immediate cost of living crisis, as well as proposals to deliver higher quality, better paid and more secure jobs to level-up the UK over the longer term.