At the Crossroads: The Future of British Retail
A new report from the Fabian Society’s retail taskforce shows that changes in the retail landscape could lead to more than 1 million job losses or a race to the bottom on working conditions.
Despite this, the government’s industrial strategy continues to ignore the UK’s largest industry. The taskforce was established to look at how productivity and pay could be improved in the UK retail sector as it undergoes a dramatic transformation. Drawing on public hearings, expert testimony and the insights of people working in retail, the taskforce proposes a 10-point plan for how the government can support retailers to improve jobs, grow the economy and revitalise community spaces.
The taskforce proposes a 10-point plan to support connected retailers to ﬂourish:
- The government should place the future of retail at the heart of its modern industrial strategy.
- The government should aim to diversify the mix of retail ownership models and encourage the voice of employees to be heard to support long-termism in the industry.
- The government should establish a new ‘super skills council’ for retail with a mission to drive up skills and standards in the industry.
- The secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy should ask the competition and markets authority to lead an inquiry into allegations of monopolistic activities by platform businesses and the effect they have on the UK retail market.
- The secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy should ask Innovate UK to establish an eleventh Catapult centre for retail.
- The chancellor should set up a review of tax paid by retailers with a mission to level the fiscal playing field between online-only, store-based and multi-channel retailers without reducing UK and local authority tax bases.
- Local authorities should work with retailers to establish local retail plans.
- The government should introduce additional protections against exploitative contracts.
- The new director of labour market enforcement should establish quicker and more affordable means for workers to request a change in their employment status.
- Further rises in the national living wage and government support for the voluntary living wage.
You may also be interested in
Moving On Up: Young black men in London's Financial sector: aspirations and experiences
London Stalling: Half a Century of living standards in London
Pay inequality by borough
Change in low pay by borough
London has a big disability employment gap
Evaluation of Step Up programme to help low-paid workers launched at City Hall
Moving On Up – improving employment rates of young black men in London
From our Twitter
It is important to #knowthedifference between the "Real Living Wage" and the "National Living Wage". The "National Living Wage" is a rebrand of the "minimum wage", but is not calculated according to what people need to live. The full figures are in this table from @LivingWageUK pic.twitter.com/LvHTcji6sg25 Jul 2018
We made over £750 million of social investment in 2017. Read about that and the rest of our work last year, in our Annual Review. https://www.trustforlondon.org.uk/publications/review-2017/ … pic.twitter.com/fvj8GQRJOY18 Aug 2018
Many #gigeconomy workers struggle with low pay. They are often denied basic employment rights such as minimum wage and holiday pay because of being bogusly defined as self-employed. The Government needs to review this to better support low-paid workers.18 Aug 2018
"Although homeless people are as diverse as any other group, common themes emerge. Harsh treatment by impoverished authorities is one." New book by @TamsenC_Writer gives a voice to homeless people to tell their own stories. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/aug/17/four-feet-under-tamsen-courtenay-homeless-sleeping-streets-review …17 Aug 2018
This is a terrible crime to commit against a vulnerable child. We need to work with the most affected communities to make further progress on rooting out FGM from our city. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/girl-3-needed-emergency-surgery-after-botched-fgm-in-london-a3914076.html …17 Aug 2018