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New report outlines how DWP must prepare for changes to work

It shared that the DWP should set out plans on how it hopes to expand its skills offer, as well as why it needs a strategy to respond to new tech.


The Work & Pensions Committee has published its report looking at the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) preparations for changes to the world of work, with elements such as the pandemic, new technology and the shift to remote working all likely having an impact.


Sharing toplines from the report on Twitter, in particular, the report noted that the DWP should develop a strategy for responding to the impact of new tech.


These include the impact on the number of available jobs, the skills needed to perform them and the impact these changes could have on different sectors, regions and demographic groups.


Following the government’s commitment to levelling up, the report advised that is should establish a new publicly funded advisory board of experts to drill down and focus on the way changes to work could have an impact on different groups in the job market.


The Committee also urged the government to set out a timescale of when it will introduce the employment bill. “We recommend that it should publish the bill in draft this parliamentary session for pre-legislative scrutiny,” it advised in a tweet.


In addition, the government was advised to analyse the impact that Covid-19 is having on the take-up of new tech, job quality and working patterns, with an emphasis on paying particular attention to the impact of the pandemic on disabled people’s employment.


Elsewhere, while the DWP has stated that it hopes to expand its skills offer, it should now set out its plans in detail. The Committee explained: “This should explain how it will focus on the skills for which there is increased demand, particularly digital and AI skills.”


Lastly, the report pointed out the importance to make sure benefit payments meet claimants’ basic needs. It stated: “We are not convinced that a Universal Basic Income would be the right way forward for social security in the UK. DWP should focus its efforts on making sure benefit payments in the current system meet claimants’ needs.”


CIPD welcomes report

Following the release of the report, the CIPD’s head of public policy, Ben Willmott, has shared that the CIPD welcomes “the report’s key recommendation that the government needs a long-term plan for responding to the changing world of work,” as reported by OnRec.


He agreed with the suggestion that the employment bill should be brought forward and added: “We agree there needs to be greater clarity over employment status and rights and this should be a priority for government.


“Just as important is improving how employment rights are enforced, particularly for those in low paid and insecure employment, so it is also crucial that the new single market enforcement body receives sufficient resources to do its job when it is established.”


Willmott also declared that the Committee “is right to call out the need to improve opportunities for disabled people through Kickstart and Restart”.


He advised: “More employers should be ensuring that line managers are aware of their responsibilities around making reasonable adjustments; these are often perfectly achievable, such as providing flexibility over working patterns, and can make a big difference.”

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