Job security can reduce regional inequality

This new report from the Work Foundation reveals the regions with the highest and lowest levels of ‘severely insecure’ work (employment that is involuntarily temporary or part-time, or when multiple forms of insecurity come together, such as casual or zero-hours contracts, or low or unpredictable pay).

The study focuses on the nine Mayoral Combined Authorities and Greater London, where over a third of England’s workforce – 11 million workers – live. Of these workers, 2.2 million (19.4%) are in severely insecure work.

Key Findings

  • The Work Foundation’s UK Insecure Work Index 2022 found, jobs in the private sector are more likely to be severely insecure than jobs in the public sector.
  • Sectors such as hospitality, accommodation, and food services are more likely than others to see a high prevalence of involuntary part-time and temporary work, with low and unpredictable pay.
  • Professional and managerial jobs tend to be quite secure, whereas insecure work is often concentrated among self-employed workers and those in routine and semi-routine jobs, such as cashiers, fitness instructors, and salespersons.
  • Routine and semi-routine jobs, have a difference in the level of insecurity experienced across the country.

Report Recommendations

The Government should:

  • Introduce a comprehensive Employment Bill in the next parliament that puts job quality and security at the centre of labour market regulation.

The Department for Business and Trade should:

  • Adapt the right to request predictable working patterns to start from day one on the job and narrow the reasons employers may give for refusal.

DWP should:

  • Reduce the waiting times for Statutory Sick Pay from four days to zero days.
  • Raise the rate of Statutory Sick Pay to 60% of usual wages, or the equivalent of the National Minimum Wage pro-rated by the usual number of hours worked, whichever is higher.
  • Self-employed workers without staff and gig-workers, establish insurance for income protection, which workers would pay into, and would be able to access in times of illness or short-term unemployment.

Read more here.