The Carnegie Trust and the RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) have launched a new report today to help improve Britain’s productivity.

As well as contributions from the Bank of England, TUC, CBI and other thought leaders in the field, it includes an article from Gill Dix, Head of Workplace Policy at Acas.

She described it as an important piece of work and said: "The gig economy, productivity, concerns over job security and wellbeing at work are all high-profile workplace issues at the moment that are covered in this collection of essays.”.

Can good work solve the productivity puzzle? can be found at

It includes an introduction by the Director of Labour Market Enforcement, Matthew Taylor, who was the author of the 2017 independent review into working practices.

He said: “If the existing case for seeing good work as a path to productivity is strong, various factors may come to make it stronger still. What comes clearly through the essays is that pressures in different sectors and those related to business size need to be addressed if we are to support business practices that prioritise good work and productivity.”

Provided these different pressures are understood and engaged with, he continued, this is not a barrier to progress: businesses do not need to have leading-edge practice to design jobs that deliver good work and reap productivity gains.

The best way to boost productivity is to improve working conditions and pay in sectors where “bad work” is prominent, rather than focusing on “perfect” work for everyone, the research suggests.

Other themes explored by experts in the collection include: technology and automation; low income and equalities; and regional inequalities.

Comment by Peninsula Associate Director of Advisory Kate Palmer

Improving productivity remains a crucial goal for the Government, with the introduction of the Good Work Plan implementing methods to improve working conditions sector-wide.

To this end, employers should be aware of the issue of “bad work” and how it can ultimately cause problems for the overall output, and functioning, of their company.

By being prepared to take into account the information presented here, companies can help to ensure their compliance with the Plan and work to keep ahead of competitors in attracting and retaining key talent.

Last reviewed 22 January 2020