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Report calls for workers’ mental health and job security to be measured

UK employees spend an average of 50 hours a week at work. (Getty Images)
UK employees spend an average of 50 hours a week at work. (Getty Images)

THE impact of the gig economy and automation on workers’ jobs and pay should be monitored by the Government, according to a new report.

A series of new questions covering issues such as work-life balance and mental health should be added to official statistics every year, said the RSA charity and the Carnegie UK Trust.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, despite record employment, the number of people in work fails to account for issues like worker pay, whether employees feel they are trapped in a job below their skillset, are working too few or too many hours or are facing excessive workplace pressure, said the report.

For £200,000, policymakers would be able to gain new insights into how the changing workplace and issues like the rise of the gig economy and automation are affecting workers, the Government was told.

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the RSA – who led a review for the Government last year on employment, said: “A focus on record employment levels and the quantity of work only tells us so much.

“We do not know whether workers feel happy, well-treated, have opportunities for progression, work the number of hours they want to, or feel they have control over their working lives.

“To manage this problem, we must measure this problem. By expanding the official and most comprehensive survey of UK households – the Labour Force Survey – we can get a properly comprehensive assessment of the quality of work in the UK.”

Martyn Evans, chief executive of the Carnegie UK Trust, said: “Employment in the UK is at a record high – but there are fears that too many workers are in jobs which offer low pay, limited prospects and which ultimately do not positively enhance their wellbeing.”