Recent research by Chwarae Teg found that achieving full Gender Equality could add £13.6 billion to the Welsh economy. This evidence demonstrates how creating a landscape where women can participate fully in the labour market benefits everyone in society.

Many of the barriers women face to achieving their potential are related to accessing and progressing within the labour market. Women still bear the brunt of responsibility for child and elder care, meaning that they often compromise on finding work that reflects their skill and qualification level in favour of flexibility. Therefore, modern working practices are often cited as a solution to addressing some of these barriers, and creating a labour market that is more suited to our increasingly diverse workforce.

Chwarae Teg recognises the benefits of Modern Working Practices to creating and supporting diverse workplaces that are representative of modern society. Through our research we have gained an understanding of these benefits, and through our Agile Nation 2 and Fair Play Employer programmes, we have worked with Employers to promote this practice.

We want to consider the role that MWP can play in the allowing our workplaces to adapt to these local and global challenges, and in the context of broader ambitions, like the Fair Work agenda, and changes to the economic landscape.

This work is ongoing, and if you or your organisation has a story to tell about how you have adapted to working in an agile way, or implementing modern working practices, we would love to hear from you.

We are looking to find out:
  • What modern working practices your workplace has implemented – have these been implemented recently or is it an ongoing process? And what prompted you to take this step?
  • What benefits or impact have you seen for your organisation or workforce since implementing modern working practices?
  • What have been the challenges to implementing modern working practices?
  • If you’ve recently had to change your working patterns to respond to the current climate, how have you found transitioning to a more agile way of working?
2nd Apr 2020
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1. Context:

1.1. Chwarae Teg is Wales’ leading gender equality charity, campaigning to create a Wales where women can achieve and prosper in every area of life.

1.2. Recent research by Chwarae Teg found that achieving full Gender Equality could add £13.6 billion to the Welsh economy if there is full convergence of employment rates of women and men, hours worked and average productivity. This evidence demonstrates how creating a landscape where women can participate fully in the labour market benefits everyone in society.

1.3. Many of the barriers women face to achieving their potential are related to accessing and progressing within the labour market. Women still bear the brunt of responsibility for child and elder care, meaning that they often compromise on finding work that reflects their skill and qualification level in favour of flexibility. Therefore, modern working practices are often cited as a solution to addressing some of these barriers, and creating a labour market that is more suited to our increasingly diverse workforce.

1.4. Chwarae Teg recognises the benefits of Modern Working Practices to creating and supporting diverse workplaces that are representative of modern society. Through our research we have gained an understanding of these benefits, and through our Agile Nation 2 and Fair Play Employer programmes, we have worked with Employers to promote this practice.

1.5. Within the context of the changing labour market; including demographic change of employees, changes to the workplace itself, and shifting priorities for work; we want to consider whether we in Wales are fully aware of the potential benefits of Modern Working Practices. We want to consider the role that MWP can play in the allowing our workplaces to adapt to these local and global challenges, and in the context of broader ambitions, like the Fair Work agenda, and changes to the economic landscape.

2. Principles of the Commission

2.1. This Commission will be underpinned by the principle that modern work should be reflective and representative of our increasingly diverse and interconnected society.

2.2. The Commission’s work should reflect the new and innovative ideas and stay ahead of best practice concerning modern work.

2.3. The Commission’s work should take an approach underlined by the principle of equity. It should recognise the different circumstances and experiences of different groups of people in work, and how this shapes individuals access to and position within the labour market. With this awareness, the Commission should focus on shaping and contributing towards an economic landscape where individuals of all backgrounds and abilities are able to achieve their potential.

2.4. The Commission should also recognise that implementing and accessing modern working practices and increased flexibility in work should not and does not mean trading off security, pay, conditions and progression.

3. Role and Purpose of the Commission:

3.1. Investigate whether there is enough awareness of the different benefits of modern working practices

3.2. Consider whether Modern Working Practices provide organisations with some of the tools to adapt for the future of work, and cater to an increasingly diverse society.

3.3. Consider the scope of power in Wales and what levers need to be utilised to promote and incentivise modern working practice to create the cultural shift we need to see. The Commission should take into account the role of Government, Business, Civil Society and others within the workforce.

3.4. Consider these questions within three broader themes:
3.4.1. The way work is changing externally – Taking into account the broader global context including automation, increased use of technology, and emphasis on sustainability and environmental impact.
3.4.2. The way work is changing internally – The impact demographic shifts are having on the workplace; in terms of the diverse groups of people who are within the workforce at one time and their different priorities and expectations for work.
3.4.3. The workplace itself – What are modern workplaces? How are they designed? What sector differences and characteristics need to be considered? What impact does this have on workplace culture and employee collectivism, and what is the role of traditional bodies like trade unions within these modern workplaces?

3.5. Collect resources and examples, and build a business case for Modern Working Practices

3.6. Consider a model of measuring and monitoring the quality of modern work that goes beyond cost or typical metrics

4. Membership and Structure

4.1. The Commission will be made up of experts from across business, civil society, academia, trade unions and capture a mix of lived experience at different levels as well as policy expertise.

4.2. The role of members will be to feed in experience and expertise that is representative of their respective organisations and sectors and support the collection and collation of evidence

4.3. Phase One of the Commission will run until April 2020 and will be initially shaped by responses to a Call for Evidence run by Chwarae Teg. The next Phase will be taken forward into the next financial year.

4.4. The Commission will be supported by secretariat provided by Chwarae Teg.

If you are interested in becoming involved with the Commission, please get in touch with Polly Winn at polly.winn@chwaraeteg.com or 07852 965580