Government to conduct Future of Work review

The Government is to conduct a Future of Work Review despite so far failing to bring forward legislation relating to its last review.

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The Government says the Future of Work’ review will inform its plans “to ensure the UK is equipped with the right workforce, skills and working environment to seize the new economic opportunities of Brexit, Levelling Up and Net Zero”.

The review will be headed by Conservative MP Matt Warman who will liaise with experts on labour market policy, including across Government, Parliamentarians, academia and think tanks. The Government says the review will “build on existing government commitments (including those made in response to the Matthew Taylor Review) to assess what the key questions to address on the future of work are as we look to support people to progress in work with the skills they need and grow the economy”.

The Matthew Taylor Review into modern ways of working was commissioned in 2016 and many of its recommendations were embedded in the Employment Bill which has been subject to constant delays ever since. They include the normalisation of flexible working, greater enforcement of employment rights and rights around requesting more predictable and stable contracts.

The new review will “focus narrowly on a few selected areas” and will be conducted in two parts: a first phase which should produce a high-level assessment of the key strategic issues on the future of work and a second phase which should then provide a more detailed assessment of selected areas of focus from the first phase.

The Government says the reviewer “should focus on areas where our policy thinking is least developed, where the least consensus exists, or where the size of the opportunity for change is the greatest”. It suggests issues such as the role of automation, how to build on ‘good’ flexibility in the labour market and gig economy and the importance of place and local labour markets in creating and facilitating access to good jobs.

The review will take place over the spring and summer 2022 and a written report, including recommendations, will then be submitted to the Prime Minister.

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