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Warwick research helps point the way to better quality work

  • Professor Chris Warhurst, Director of Warwick University’s Institute for Employment Research (IER) has played a key role in developing a suite of measurements which would help the Government meet its aspiration that all work should be ‘good work,’ in quality as much as quantity.

Measuring Good Work, a report launched today, 7 September, by the RSA and the Carnegie UK Trust recommends that seven dimensions of job quality should be monitored annually by the government. These include pay and benefits, voice and representation, work-life balance, and job security.

chris_warhurst_crop.jpgProf. Warhurst was a member of the Measuring Job Quality Working Group, the task force brought together by the Carnegie UK Trust to consider how job quality could best be measured in the UK. The Working Group has developed the recommendations set out in the report, and which will now be considered by the UK Government. His expertise on the most optimal job quality metrics to prioritise in the national framework was particularly welcomed by the group.

The need to better monitor quality of work in the UK was called for in Matthew Taylor’s 2017 Review of Modern Working Practices undertaken for the Prime Minister. The UK Government subsequently committed to delivering on this proposal; and Measuring Good Work now sets out a roadmap for how the ambition can be achieved.

The report recommends that there should be:

  • A package of 18 measures, grouped into 7 themes
  • Captured by a robust and authoritative cross-UK survey
  • Able to become a well-known and widely-reported resource
  • Useful to employers as well as government

Prof. Warhurst said “Creating more good work is one of the pressing policy issues of our time. This Report represents a major step forward. In a field marked by differing opinions and interests, the Carnegie and RSA have done a remarkable job in developing a consensual approach to measuring job quality. Their recommendations will establish a new baseline of information from which the UK and devolved governments can help improve the quality of working lives across the UK.”

Martyn Evans, Chief Executive of the Carnegie UK Trust and Group co-chair, added:

“Employment in the UK is at a record high but there are fears that too many workers are in jobs which offer low pay, limited prospects and which ultimately do not positively enhance their wellbeing.

“The detailed measurement framework proposed by our Measuring Job Quality Group will help us track who in the UK does and does not enjoy good work - and provide a platform for change. This is only the beginning of journey toward improving work in the UK, which will need commitment from government, employers, trade unions and campaigners. We hope our proposed metrics will make an important and sustained contribution, helping the UK track and deliver progress towards the ambition of good for work for all.”


The report will be launched at the RSA on Friday 7 September. Media are invited to attend and should contact Ash Singleton, RSA Head of Press,, 07799 737 970.


The RSA is an independent charity whose mission is to enrich society through ideas and action. The organisation is led by Matthew Taylor, who recently authored the Taylor Review into modern employment practices for the Prime Minister. The RSA’s work covers a number of areas including the rise of the 'gig economy', robotics & automation; education & creative learning; and reforming public services to put communities in control.

The Carnegie UK Trust works to improve the lives of people throughout the UK and Ireland, by changing minds through influencing policy, and by changing lives through innovative practice and partnership work. The Trust was established by Scots-American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1913.

The following individuals participated in the Measuring Job Quality Working Group which produced the report:
Matthew Taylor (Co-Chair) RSA
Martyn Evans (Co-Chair) Carnegie UK Trust
Gill Dix, Acas
Douglas White, Carnegie UK Trust
Mark Diffley, Carnegie UK Trust
Gail Irvine, Carnegie UK Trust
Jonny Gifford, CIPD
Sonali Parekh, Federation of Small Business
Emelia Quist, Federation of Small Business
Paul Devoy, Investors in People
Joe Dromey, IPPR
Louise Woodruff, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
David Freeman, Office for National Statistics
Conor D’Arcy, Resolution Foundation
Sarah Gallo, Tesco PLC
Paul Nowak, TUC
Chris Warhurst, Warwick Institute for Employment Research
Nancy Hey, What Works Wellbeing
Lesley Giles, Work Foundation

Officials from the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy attended Group meetings during 2018.

For further information:

Sheila Kiggins
Media Relations Manager
University of Warwick
Email:S dot Kiggins at warwick dot ac dot uk
DD:02476 150423
M:07876 218166