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Workers feel powerless

View profile for Sally Morris
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The Taylor Report on employment in the UK, published today (July 11), has said that it should be made easier for workers to insist that their employers sit down and consult with them.

In the course of the 10-month review, one of the key problems that has been identified with the labour market is the lack of a “worker voice” inside many firms, leading Matthew Taylor, the man appointed by the Prime Minster to conduct the review, to conclude that too many workers feel “powerless”.

The review has identified a productivity crisis among the lowest paid workers particularly in sectors such as retail, care work and hospitality, and will urge the Government to give the Low Pay Commission, which sets the national living wage, a new role to boost job satisfaction.

It is predicted that 15 per cent of the UK workforce will be earning up to or at that level by 2020, up from 2 per cent in 2000. Meanwhile, according to the Resolution Foundation, in three years a quarter of workers in wholesale, retail, agriculture and fishing will be earning at the wage floor.

The report is expected to suggest the Government develop a set of measures to be used to assess the quality of low-paid work across different sectors, taking into account issues such as access to training and job satisfaction. 

It is also thought likely that the review will call for the country to foster a sense of “workplace citizenship”, as happens in European countries like Germany, where unions and works councils are embedded in the corporate culture.