World of work web forum launched

19 January 2017

Workers and employers are being encouraged to share their experiences of the world of work in a web forum set up by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee. It is part of the Committee's future world of work inquiry, looking at the rapidly changing nature of work and the status and rights of workers.

Web forum

The launch of the forum coincides with publication of the written evidence received by the Committee as part of the inquiry. Deliveroo, TUC, CBI, Royal College of Nursing, NUJ, Zurich Insurance Group, Etsy, NUT, British Airline Pilot's Association and the Maternity Action charity, are among those whose evidence is available online.

The Committee is hoping to gather further evidence through its web forum by hearing, anonymously where necessary, from workers, low and high skilled, and employers about the pros and cons of different working arrangements.

This includes the so-called gig economy, where workers are hired through employment agencies or on casual contracts. Critics of such arrangements argue that they leave workers at risk of exploitation, but their proponents point to advantages, such as greater flexibility on working patterns.

The Committee also wants to hear from people who are self-employed as well as from employers and employees about their experiences of permanent contractual arrangements.

Chair's comments

Iain Wright MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said:

"Our inquiry on the future world of work is considering where we are headed with the nature and status of employment. To do this effectively, we must know where we are coming from. The web forum will help us engage with workers and employers and examine the pros and cons of a wide range of working arrangements.

They may be a low skilled worker on a casual contract who feels vulnerable to exploitation, a high-skilled worker who values the flexibility of their self-employed status or a boss who gains a competitive advantage by hiring agency workers instead of permanent employees.

The nature of work is rapidly changing and the Committee is asking what sort of employment structures we want to see in the future to ensure that we have an innovative and competitive economy, which continues to bring consumer benefits while respecting workers."


The future world of work inquiry follows the Committee's report on working practices at Sports Direct. Concerns over the treatment of workers at a number of high profiled companies have also been brought to the Committee's attention in recent months.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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