CIPD ‘Manifesto for Work’ calls for shift in employment policy

7 July 2014

With the general election less than a year away, the CIPD has published a ‘Manifesto for Work’ to urge politicians to focus on new ways to future proof UK employment. In its proposal, the CIPD said that policy makers will need to tackle fundamental skills and productivity issues or risk letting the country fall behind its overseas competitors.

Workforce skills are a major area for policy focus, said Mark Beatson CIPD chief economist, who called for a move away from traditional thinking. Rather than delivering more or less of a particular qualification, he said, the UK needs to think about how policy could encourage employers and employees to be more ambitious and more demanding around skills. Policy makers needed to acknowledge that innovation is not just about men in white coats, patents or ‘big science’, Beatson said, adding: “We need to recognise the importance of the workplace for continuous improvement and innovation.”

In addition to creating conditions for the UK to nurture more “high-perforamce workplaces”, the institute said that MPs needed to make sure work was a financially viable option for those on low incomes. To suport this it has proposed a phased extension of the personal tax-free allowance, eventually increasing it to £12,875. This would take those working full time on the national minimum wage (NMW) out of income tax altogether. The CIPD has also called for the NMW to be linked to the rate of inflation.