IFS Deaton Review – The inequality gap will not be closed if employers do not provide good work for all

In response to the launch of the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) Deaton Review today, Catherine Sermon, director of campaigns at Business in the Community, said:
“With more than a decade of stagnant wages and today’s news about high levels of UK inequality, it’s vital that employers think about the quality of the work they offer and how they can take action to offer good work for all. The inequality gap will not be closed if employers do not play their part.
“There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this issue, employers must take the time to understand what their employees may be struggling with and look at every part of their employment offer when thinking about how better to support employees. 
“With less than half of 11-year-old pupils entitled to free school meals reaching the standards expected for reading, writing and mathematics, employers can also play a key role in closing inequality gaps in their future workforces by working with schools to ensure that children have the skills they need to succeed in the world of work. 
“Good work is about more than just pay levels, although pay is a central part of the picture. It’s also about job security, income predictability, flexibility and how employers can support employees to develop and progress in work so they can move on from low pay. Inequality and increasing lack of trust are strongly linked and responsible businesses have a wider role to play, working with the public and social sectors, to empower local people to drive the solutions their towns and cities need to rebuild trust and reduce inequality across different parts of the country.  
“The impact on employers is also profound. There’s a strong business case for offering good work in terms of productivity gains and reduced absenteeism and presenteeism as a result of improved wellbeing and engagement. It’s in every business’ interest to offer good work.”
Notes to editor
Media contact 
Katherine Howbrook, head of media and external affairs, Business in the Community, Mobile: 07515 119 096 Email: katherine.howbrook@bitc.org.uk 
About Business in the Community 
Business in the Community, part of the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, is a business-led membership organisation made up of progressive businesses of all sizes who understand that the prosperity of business and society are mutually dependent. We exist to build healthy communities with successful businesses at their heart. 
We use our Responsible Business Map to guide members on a journey of continuous improvement, working across the whole responsible business agenda. From community engagement to employment, diversity and the circular economy, we offer expert advice and specialist resources, driving best practice by convening, sharing learning and recognising great performance across our influential network. www.bitc.org.uk