Creating and valuing good work

Work is at the centre of people’s lives, communities and the economy. Creating good quality work for as many people as possible is one of the best ways to ensure that social justice and technological innovation advance together. To drive bolder policy intervention, we need a sharper and more consistent focus on work. And we need to understand and measure good work - and changes to work - better. What gets measured, gets done.

So how can we improve understanding of work quality and change, alongside productivity? What social and economic conditions will help us create and value good work?

Our discussion paper ‘A Future of Good Work: the foundation of a moral economy’ is here.


Promoting equality through transition

Exploring the impact of technology on our experience of work must include understanding both positive and negative implications for equality. This will help us shape a future that is fair, as well as prosperous. Through this exploration, we aim to chart a path towards a more equitable 'social contract' involving new rights and responsibilities for people, organisations and government. From algorithmic fairness to employee representation, we need positive action to counterbalance increasing inequality in the work space.

So what should these new rights and responsibilities look like? How else can we create a more equitable social contract and shape a future that works for everyone?


Supporting people most at risk

Technological innovation underpins productivity growth and must be welcomed. But it comes at a price: the risk of significant change to work, and job loss, is not distributed evenly. People most vulnerable to the adverse affects of technological disruption may be young people in precarious work or senior workers with poor access to adult learning. We need a framework of support to ensure that disruptive innovation goes hand in hand with preparation for future good work. Risks should be mitigated - and opportunities seized - for everyone.

So how can we identify the people and places most at risk? How can we improve support for those experiencing, or most at risk of, a ‘double disadvantage’?


Diversifying ownership and control 

Technological innovation can either concentrate gains or raise living standards for everyone. Diverse ownership, control and new types of income-sharing will become increasingly important to spread wealth, power and other benefits generated by new technologies. Encouraging shared ownership, control and modern income-sharing models will help support a future of good work and shared plenty: a future that works.

So how can we support diverse models of ownership, control and income-sharing, whilst encouraging investment?