Lessons from the recession Good employee relations saved jobs
Why the new employment relationship developed People have more voice and want more choice at work
The more flexible relationship works for employers and employees
Mutual Benefits for the management and the workforce
Embedding this new world of employment in government thinking
Ensuring the UK competes in the global economy Concluding Thoughts
This is the first digital report to be produced by the CBI. It examines the vital issue of employment relationships in the modern workplace. It explains what happened in the recession and why unemployment has, so far, peaked much lower than in previous downturns, when a more traditional employment model held sway. Then, more importantly, it takes the debate forward. Produced in collaboration with Hays, our report talks to business about how the UK’s flexible labour market helped them and their employees during the recession and continues to do so, drawing out implications for the future public policy that is needed to help Britain compete in a global economy. It’s also a helpful reminder of what good employee relations can achieve, on both sides. At a time when the public sector – perhaps the last bastion of a more confrontational approach to employee relations – is facing significant challenges, the lessons we include here about what can be achieved by working together are powerful ones.
More flexibility Ultimately, this is a story about employee engagement. And with 61% of firms focusing on improving in this area over the coming year according to the latest CBI survey, we know there is more still to achieve.
Nevertheless, the change in the relationship between employers and employees over the last two decades in the private sector has already been substantial, and this is now manifested in a more flexible individual package of work and reward that works well for both parties.
CBI members believe that the government should reflect this new world in legislative proposals or reviews of current law. Instead of regulating at every turn, government should set out more of its objectives through flexible means – following the successful model of the right to request¹ – and leave it to employers and employees to manage the minutiae of what happens in
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