Since 2018, the CIPD Good Work Index has been measuring and reporting valuable evidence on jobs and people’s experience of work in the UK. We urge policy makers and employers to use these insights to inform policy and practice, to help make work better for everyone. 

Each year, we survey more than 5,000 workers across different sectors and occupations about key aspects of their work and employment. This year’s report tracks how these aspects of job quality have fared through COVID-19. Our data shows that inequalities in job quality persist in the UK and, as we steer the way through what will be a complex post-pandemic recovery, the findings serve as a reminder that we must protect not just the quantity, but also the quality of jobs.

Download the 2021 report and appendices below:



7 dimensions of job quality

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Pay and benefits

Terms of employment icon

Employment contracts

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Work–life balance

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Job design and nature of work

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Relationships at work

Employee voice

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Health and wellbeing

CIPD view on good work

Work can and should be a force for good, benefitting people and societies as much as it benefits business and the economy. Measures of GDP and employment rates are important, but we also need to understand whether the jobs we have are good or poor and how they can be improved.

But what does a quality job look like? At the CIPD, we believe that good work:

  • is fairly rewarded and gives people the means to securely make a living
  • allows for work–life balance  
  • gives opportunities to develop and ideally a sense of fulfilment 
  • provides a supportive environment with constructive relationships 
  • gives employees the voice and choice they need to shape their working lives
  • is physically and mentally healthy.

All jobs have the potential to be better and we should aspire to making good work a reality for all, regardless of personal characteristics or occupation. It may not be realistic to make all jobs great in all ways, but there are several dimensions to job quality, and by being more creative with job design and HR practices, employers can and should make work better for everyone. 

Job quality is affected by a range of factors, including employment legislation, labour market conditions, HR practices, the quality of people management and by workers themselves. Policy-makers, employers and people professionals all have a role to play in ensuring that work is both productive for the organisation and good for employees. The CIPD Good Work Index gives insights that help individuals, employers and policy makers improve and protect job quality at every level.

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