Last reviewed 18 May 2022

A review into how the Government can support a thriving future UK labour market has been ordered by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. Building on existing commitments already made in response to the Matthew Taylor Review (back in 2017), this review will seek to address how to “build back better” from the effects of not only Brexit but also the pandemic.

Aim

The review is intended to take a narrow focus on a few key areas of policy that fall within wider strategic issues facing the future of work in the UK. The aims of the review are as follows:

  • consider the importance of place and local labour markets in facilitating access to good jobs

  • the role of automation and how quickly it’s happening

  • how we can build on the good flexibility in the labour and gig economy, whilst making sure there are protections to prevent exploitative practices.

Objectives

The following objectives have been identified for the review.

  1. Build on existing government commitments (including those made in response to the Matthew Taylor Review) to assess what the key questions to address on the future of work in building back better from the pandemic.

  2. Provide a detailed assessment of selected issues, working with independent experts, academics, think tanks and relevant government departments and drawing on international comparisons where appropriate.

  3. Make recommendations to guide long-term, strategic policy making on the labour market.

Scope

The review will be spread over two parts. The first will be a high-level assessment identifying the key strategic issues in the future of work. This will then be followed by a more detailed focus on select areas identified in phase one.

The goal of the review is not to identify and answer every challenge that will be faced in the future. Instead, it will find areas of least developed policy, where there is limited agreement, or where the greatest opportunity for change is to be found, and make recommendations in these areas.

Timing

This review will take place over spring and summer 2022. A report including findings and recommendations will then be compiled and presented to the Prime Minister.

Impact for employers

At this stage it is not clear what, if any, impacts there will be for HR and employment law as a result of the review. As the recommendations are due to focus on strategic policy making, it is unlikely they will be significant in terms of changes that must be implemented by employers. It is, however, likely to shed a useful light on future trends that employers can utilise for their own plans and strategies.