Our Manifesto for Work sets out proposals to improve corporate governance, boost skills investment and to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces that support people's well-being, development and productivity.

It forms the basis of the work we’ll do to inform – and influence – the Government's agenda on issues relating to skills, employment and the workplace. The goal? To ensure a future of work that benefits people, businesses, the economy and society.

As experts on people, work and change, the people profession plays a significant role in the continuing debate. But championing good work also requires stakeholders such as investors, organisational leaders and managers to value, invest in and improve the way people are managed and developed.

To that end, we're increasing our efforts to build the evidence base and make the business case for our viewpoint on these critical issues. We'll continue to develop guidance and support to help organisations create the principles, policies and behaviours that underpin progressive, ethical practice and good work.

Peter Cheese

We live in the most uncertain and fast-changing political, economic and social context anyone can remember. Many of the challenges facing the Government in the UK go far beyond resolving Brexit and our future relationship with Europe and can be traced back to the failure of the UK economy, despite its many success stories, to truly deliver value across all sectors of society.

We face the challenges of improving productivity and international competitiveness, of investing in and building the skills we need now and for the future, of driving more innovation, and encouraging more agile and responsive businesses that look to the long term and not just maximising the short term.

We need to make much more progress on creating inclusive workplaces, ensuring fairer distribution of rewards, and in creating working environments that engage our people and support rather than undermine their well-being. And we need to rebuild trust in our leaders, in big business and in our establishment institutions.

Government must lead by example as an employer and as the funder of public services to ensure public sector organisations have the necessary resources to support and develop their workforces so they can deliver on promises to cut crime and improve the quality of education and healthcare. At the CIPD, our purpose is to champion better work and working lives. We believe work can and should be a force for good that helps both our economy and society to flourish and prosper. As the professional body for HR and people development, we have an important role to play in helping our members address these challenges at an organisational level, but we’re calling on the Government to play its part too.

Government plays a critical role in setting the policy and legal frameworks to manage and regulate many different dimensions of work, the workforce and the workplace, efficiently and fairly. But not everything can or should be regulated or sought to be controlled through rules. The Government must also play a major role in influencing mindsets and behaviours based on key principles of ethical and sustainable business and employment practice, and in convening and encouraging dialogue, consultation and debate on how we can all influence the future.

We need the Government to play an active role in promoting and supporting the development of 'good work' across the economy – for example, by supporting the development and dissemination of advice and guidance for employers on the HR and people management practices that underpin good work, and responsible and ethical employment practices. Our over 160,000 members are responsible for the recruitment, management and development of a large proportion of the UK workforce and, working in partnership with the Government, can actively champion better work and working lives.

Ensuring that work is inclusive, fair, supports people's well-being and enables them to develop the skills they need to reach their potential, brings benefits to individuals, organisations and society. Capitalising on the creativity and potential of our people, or 'human capital', can position the UK as the global leader in high-value, high-skill economies, and as a great place to work and do business.

Executive summary

Our manifesto sets out four key areas we need Government to work collectively with businesses and organisations to take action on.

  • Improve corporate governance and reward practices by ensuring that the rewards of senior executives reflect their performance and are more fairly aligned with those of the wider workforce. We believe the limited remit of RemCos should be extended to consider issues such as culture, fairness and diversity, which indicate whether organisations are living up to their values. We also think there should be much greater transparency over how organisations report on these issues in their annual reports.

  • Create more inclusive and diverse workplaces by continuing efforts to boost the uptake of flexible working across the economy. The Government can also use its reach and influence to create effective campaigns working with professional bodies, unions and employers to educate employers and improve practice. It should build on the impact of the gender pay gap reporting regulations, using the principle of transparency to drive employer action to address other disadvantaged or under-represented groups.

  • Support investment in skills, lifelong learning and improve how skills are utilised at work by reforming the apprenticeship levy as a broader, more flexible training levy and by greater investment and innovation in the key area of lifelong learning. There also needs to be a much greater focus in skills policy and industrial strategy on increasing the quality of people management capability and identifying the demands for skills, including the essential employability skills that are increasingly important in the modern workplace.

  • Improve employment relations and well-being at work by improving the awareness and enforcement of employment rights. There needs to be a greater focus on providing accessible and affordable people management support to small firms that don’t have any formal HR support or function. The Government should also adopt a set of national job quality metrics to help measure progress on the ‘Good Work’ agenda and ensure improving job quality remains a national public policy priority.

Click on the icons below to access each section of the Manifesto.

Good governance

Good governance and fair reward






Well-being at work


Key challenges

A downloadable version of the Manifesto for Work is available below:

Explore our related content

CIPD viewpoint

Explore the CIPD's collected perspective on the key issues impacting work, including recommendations, supporting evidence and links to resources for policymakers and employers

Read more

Brexit hub

As post-Brexit arrangements continue to roll out, the CIPD will continue to provide news and updated resources to support your planning

Read more


A space dedicated to exciting innovation and debate on the world of work and the people profession.

Join the debate