Employment rights are key to reducing in-work poverty
The UK is currently moving out of the deepest recession since WWII. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs, and many remain at risk of long-term worklessness. However, unemployment is not the only challenge facing post-recession Britain, as work itself is not always a route out of poverty: increasing proportions of working households have an income of below 60% of median income (the Government’s preferred measure of poverty).
There are multiple reasons for persistent in-work poverty, including low pay, low in-work benefits for families without children, poor progression opportunities for many in low-paid jobs, a lack of access to services such as good quality childcare and the ongoing gender pay gap. But there is seldom any discussion about the ways in which poor rights at work can consign people to poverty.
This is an issue that the newly formed Fair Work Coalition will be highlighting over future months, and I’ve written a post on this topic on the Community Links blog, as a contribution to LinksUK and Church Action on Poverty’s project on working age poverty. You can read it here.