Report calls for Government to measure job quality and work life balance issues

Work Life Balance


Job security, workplace mental health and how well-supported workers feel by their employer should be monitored annually by the government, according to a report led by the RSA and the Carnegie UK Trust.

The Measuring Good Work report is a follow-up to RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor’s 2017 employment review for the Prime Minister which recommended monitoring. The UK Government has committed to delivering the recommendation.

The report highlights that employment has a major impact on people’s wellbeing and quality of life, arguing that since the 2008 financial crisis, despite record employment, the overall figure on the number of people in work fails to account for issues like worker pay; whether employees feel they are trapped in a job below their skillset; are working too few or too many hours; or are facing excessive workplace pressure.

Work-Life Balance & Mental Health

It identifies a series of new questions – from work-life balance to mental health, and from opportunities for progression to feelings of purpose, involvement and control at work – which it says should be added to the annual official Labour Force Survey.

It says that for £200,000 policymakers would be able to gain significant new insights into how the changing workplace and issues like the rise of the gig economy and automation are affecting workers from around the UK.

Meanwhile, a BBC feature has focused on employers such as Timpson and Aviva who give their staff paid leave to settle their children into primary school.

And a new study from the Institute for Employment Studies says employers need to distinguish between workers’ engagement with their job and engagement with the organisation if they are to improve the employee experience and their overall competitive advantage.

The research paper, Bridging the gap: an evidence-based approach to employee engagement, highlights that traditional, one-dimensional views of engagement fail to make a distinction between job and organisational engagement, viewing employee engagement as a single concept.

It says employees can be highly engaged with the organisation but have low levels of job engagement, or vice versa.

Megan Edwards, an IES research fellow and the report’s author, says organisations can adopt a five-step approach to address the different levels of engagement, including using business data to identify where attention should be focused at a given time, and using technology to measure both types of engagement.

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