Better Work Audit: Job quality in London over the last decade

What you need to know:

  • The Better Work Audit examines the quality of work in London over the last decade.
  • The report looks at public data across multiple dimensions of job quality based on the Carnegie UK Trust and RSA’s Good Work Standard quality of work measures.
  • Reveals that greater emphasis is needed on the different factors of quality of work in the capital to help promote good work for all Londoners.

This analysis from the Learning and Work Institute, funded by Trust for London, aims to highlight London’s performance in delivering good jobs and call attention to the different components of work that have substantial influence on the quality of life of millions of workers in the capital.

The Audit examines change between both 2011 and 2019, to track progress across the last decade before the unprecedented impact of the pandemic, and between 2019 and 2020/2021 (where data is available) to explore how the pandemic has impacted quality of work in London. This builds on ‘Paved with gold? Views on job quality in the capital’ , the Institute's last paper, which explored what good work means to Londoners, as well as the drivers and impact of poor-quality employment in the capital.

Key findings

  • While an adequate salary (52 per cent) is prioritised by Londoners, workers value a wide range of factors including a good work-life balance (49 per cent), secure contract (22 per cent) and opportunities for progression (20 per cent).
  • Almost half of Londoners were dissatisfied with their salary.
  • Two-in-five were dissatisfied with opportunities for progression.
  • Two-in-five had felt unwell due to work-related stress across the same period.

Key recommendations

As most restrictions cease in London and the wider UK, and hard-hit sectors continue their recovery, it is essential that policy makers support those that have suffered the worst impacts of both crises – the coronavirus crisis, and the crisis in living standards which preceded it. To do this, policy makers must:

  1. Keep an active focus on all dimensions of quality of work through the regular and consistent monitoring of London’s labour market data. This includes the identification and development of reliable indicators to measure change across each component of quality of work in London.
  2. Ensure that the design and implementation of new labour market initiatives consider quality of work, including existing gaps in London’s performance across, and the potential impact on, key dimensions of quality of work. Where relevant, objectives should be set and performance assessed against suitable measures.
  3. Utilise a greater range of policy solutions to improve the quality of work in the capital, including support to help Londoners into good work and working closely with employers to encourage the creation of good jobs.