03 October 2016
Theresa May has hired Matthew Taylor, previously an adviser to Tony Blair, to conduct an inquiry into workers’ rights.
Writing for the Guardian, Taylor highlighted that the stress and anxiety traditionally associated with higher-paid jobs is now affecting those on the bottom rung and there are around six million people (and growing) who are not covered by basic employment rights due to the burgeoning “gig” economy.
He said: “There is, for example, a particular problem with job security. While 92% of people consider it to be important, only 65% people think their job is secure, and 15% think it is insecure – that’s around 5 million people wondering if they will be able to pay the bills each month, or what will happen to the mortgage if they’re suddenly out of work.”
Taylor stated that these problems are the byproducts of a changing world of work, but the IER in its Manifesto for Labour Law – now adopted as the blueprint for employment law reform by the Labour Party – demonstrates that such “changes” are no accident but a direct result of the government’s approach to employment law.
Job insecurity has been a growing problem since Thatcher’s government, with neoliberalist legislation incentivising a race to the bottom on workers’ rights, thereby fueling an economy based not on investing in the UK’s workforce, but on viewing workers as expendable.
In the Manifesto, 15 leading labour lawyers and academics argue that this approach has led to increasing inequality and job insecurity, as well as the plummeting economic productivity that has seen the UK hit its lowest productivity rating on record when compared with the other G7 economies.
As the current situation has been created by labour law, we believe it can be reversed by labour law and by a government committed to protecting and promoting workers’ rights.