Government must act now to avoid exclusions from future world of work, MPs say
The House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee inquiry on ‘Department for Work and Pensions preparations for changes in the world of work’, the Committee’s report takes on a number of techUK's policy recommendations after Antony Walker, techUK, gave evidence.
While the Committee concludes that it is not likely that new technology will lead to mass unemployment, it warns that the creation of new jobs and loss of others will be uneven across sectors and across different groups of workers.
The Government must ensure that any changes do not exacerbate existing inequalities, with younger people, disabled people, women, and people from some ethnic minorities particularly at risk of missing out on jobs. Greater focus should be placed on retraining and reskilling and the Government’s two major employment support schemes, Kickstart and Restart – introduced to get people back to work after the pandemic – must do more to meet the needs of disabled people.
The report also again calls for the Government to bring forward its Employment Bill to protect the rising number of people in precarious forms of work, such as people on zero-hours contracts or working in the gig economy. The Committee also heard how the coronavirus pandemic has likely accelerated the take up of new technology in the workplace, changed working practices and had an uneven impact on job losses in different sectors of the economy.