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The CIPD has today published its ‘Manifesto for Work,’ a call to the UK’s political parties to focus on the key issues facing employers and the workforce in the run up to the General Election 2015.

The professional body for HR and people development believes a sustainable recovery and successful future economic performance is dependent upon future governments adopting policies that address fundamental skills and productivity issues, as well as looking at other agendas which will actively shape the future of work.

CIPD is calling on the Government to:

  • Boost productivity and skills utilisation in the labour market – identifying the skills required by today’s employers and how people are managed and developed, with a view to creating the high-performance workplaces the UK needs.
  • Take a long-term, people-focused approach to corporate governance – encouraging greater appreciation of how people drive value in organisations, looking at the way employers currently measure the output of their workforce, and focusing on diversity  as an important contributor to business success.
  • Support opportunities that enable young people to succeed in the labour market by facilitating higher quality careers guidance, incorporating youth enterprise education into the national curriculum and creating more high-quality Apprenticeships.
  • Ensure a pensions framework through which workers can build a sustainable retirement – by making sure employers are given continuous support to automatically enrol their workforce into pensions schemes, and providing clear, transparent advice to employees on the saving options available to them.
  • Make sure our welfare system works for employers, jobseekers and the low-paid; helping low paid workers keep more of their earnings, and reconsidering the National Insurance Contributions threshold with a view to encouraging more employers to consider increasing hours for their staff.
  • Extend the personal tax-free allowance, over time, to take those working full time on the National Minimum Wage out of income tax altogether – allowing the lowest paid in our society to keep more of their earnings, making sure work continues to pay.
  • Take a “good practice” approach to employment regulation and policy by supporting the creation of a Workplace Commission, with the aim of helping employers raise standards of people management.

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD, comments:  “The big political agendas going in to the next election – sustaining the economic recovery, addressing low wages and cost of living issues, and competing in the global economy will all require a better focus and understanding of the changing nature of work, the requirements and needs of the workforce, and the changing workplace. There are long-term, structural challenges facing the UK economy, which is held back by poor productivity, weak skills utilisation, and too much reliance on low skill, low wage work. Our ‘Manifesto for Work’ is a call to all political parties to put forward policy programmes that focus on improving work in all its forms, for the benefit of individuals, organisations, the economy and society.

“Work is a major feature of most people’s lives. Young people face challenges getting into work, older workers want to continue to be valued in work and to have reasonable security in work and in their incomes, and people should be able to aspire to and expect work that is fulfilling, engaging and rewarding. And alongside this, employers are constantly looking to find the best ways to attract, retain and motivate the workforce they need to deliver their business objectives. However, too much of the political debate focuses only on absolute issues about whether people are in work or not, or technical issues around the regulation of the workplace. There are much bigger prizes for policy makers to aim for. A bold focus on improving work is precisely what we need to secure our national economic performance for the long term.”