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Making jobs work: Improvements to job quality are key to our recovery

The Employment Bill is the perfect opportunity to improve the quality of jobs and make work the reliable route out of poverty that it should be.

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For too many people, jobs are not working. JRF has been working with people with experience of poor-quality jobs to better understand the issues that hold people back. Combining their experiences with wider research, we have collectively designed a set of solutions focused on the Government’s promised Employment Bill.


The Government must bring the Bill forward in this session of parliament and use it to:

  • Introduce new rights to more secure work so people can plan their family life and finances, including the right to:

1. A secure contract that reflects your working hours after 26 weeks, with a zero-hours or short-hours contract something a worker can choose to opt in to after this point if it suits them.

2. Four weeks' notice of your working schedules.

3. Compensation for last-minute cancellation of shifts.

  • Make flexible working the default from day one of employment and reconsider the business exemptions for refusing a request, so jobs work around caring responsibilities and health needs.
  • Double the number of labour market enforcement inspectors to make sure the new single enforcement body (SEB) fulfils its potential to prevent bad employers getting an unjust advantage by undercutting good ones.
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This briefing is part of the work topic.

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