Making work secure: unlocking poverty and building a stronger economy

This second briefing in the economic discussion series - Shaping a recovery that reduces poverty - explains why all workers should have stable, secure hours and pay.

COVID-19 has highlighted the insecurity pulling many low-paid workers into poverty. Some will argue we cannot tackle this until the economy has recovered. Instead, this briefing argues that delivering security can, and should, play a role in building a more productive economy beyond COVID-19 where work is a reliable route out of poverty.

Recommendations - why delivering security for low-paid workers is a priority now:

  • We should continue to be concerned with the current scale and nature of insecurity facing low-paid workers in the UK.
  • The costs of insecurity are falling on those least able to bear them and limiting the contribution of a significant group of workers to the labour market.
  • There is a strong economic case for providing greater security to low-paid workers.
  • As well as raising the living standards of many in poverty, delivering greater security can contribute to building a higher-skilled, higher-productivity economy.
  • Momentum was building before COVID-19 to tackle insecurity – it should be maintained as we plan for the economic recovery ahead.

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