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We Need to Look to the Future - And Workplace 2020 Is a Chance to Do Just That

15/08/2016 17:43 | Updated 15 August 2016

Despite Tory claims to be the Party of Working People, their six years in power shows nothing but failure across the board when it comes to workplace rights.

The reality is that the Tories have let workers down by overseeing an era of low pay and falling wages.

Working people's wages are 10% lower than they were in 2007 in real terms, one in five employees are stuck in low paid work and nearly six million people are in jobs that pay less than the living wage.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Insecurity in the workplace is also on the rise on the Tories' watch.

There are currently 800,000 people employed on zero hours contracts - that's an increase of 100,000 in just a year - and the introduction of employment tribunal fees by the Tories has led to a 70% reduction in the number of cases being taken to tribunal for unfair and discriminatory behaviour.

Unscrupulous and exploitative business practices, such as those recently revealed at Sports Direct and BHS are going unchecked, with the Tories are instead turning their fire on the most democratic, grassroots organisations in the country - trade unions - through recently passing the Trade Union Act, further shrinking working people's rights.

Faced with a Conservative Government hell-bent on an ideologically driven attack on workers' rights, it is time for the Labour Party to put our commitment to working people at the forefront of our agenda once again.

We are the Party who brought in the Gangmasters Licensing Act to protect workers and good employers from the rogues. We are the Party who founded the welfare state to support people when they are in and out of work. And the Party who established the National Minimum Wage, putting a desperately needed floor under workers' wages.

We are the one, true party of working people but we can't rely on past achievements.

We need to look to the future. And Workplace 2020 is a chance to do just that.

It is a chance for us to face the challenges presented by modern workplaces head on. A chance to for you to share your experiences with us. And it's a chance we simply can't afford to miss.

While the world of work is changing, becoming less secure, the everyday cost of living is not.
Bills still need to be paid. Childcare costs won't disappear and the commute to work still drains the wallet.

Our work matters. It can bring fulfilment and prosperity but it can also bring worry, upset and stress. Unhappiness at work doesn't end when shifts finish. Improving working life is a proud aim of this party because it enriches all our society.

So Workplace 2020 isn't about focusing on the negatives. Many people have positive experiences - benefiting from apprenticeships, training opportunities and additional support in the workplace.

We want to learn from them.

This is because we are serious about creating workplaces fit for the future through the launch of the biggest discussion on workplace rights that this country has ever seen.

Workplace 2020 will reach out to communities across the UK. We want to hear from everyone. Women, men, people from different backgrounds, ethnicities, abilities and at different stages in their working lives.

We want to work with employees and employers to create an environment that is fair to everyone.

But to do this, we need your help. This is why we're bringing Workplace 2020 directly to you and through the launch of our website today, there is now a dedicated space online for you to tell us exactly what you think the future of the world of work should look like.

So log on to workplace2020.org.uk and share your thoughts with us.

Everyone has a voice. Everyone has a story to tell. No one will be left behind.

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