Summary of A Blueprint for Good Work

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A Blueprint for Good Work summary

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The right to work was enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 – and now the time may have arrived for Britain to embrace the right to good work. The RSA’s deeply researched, visionary white paper sets out the rationale for a new social contract – guaranteeing good work for all and a fairer, more human employment system – along with a practical blueprint for accomplishing it. The authors include Alan Lockey, who heads the RSA’s Future Work Center, and Fabian Wallace-Stephens, a senior researcher in the RSA’s Economy, Enterprise and Manufacturing Team. The paper draws on extensive interviews with policymakers, business leaders, trade union reps, future of work experts, HR reps, workers and managers, as well as surveys of British citizens. 

About the Authors

Alan Lockey is head of the RSA’s Future Work Center and associate director of the Economy, Enterprise and Manufacturing Team. Fabian Wallace-Stephens is a senior researcher in the Economy, Enterprise and Manufacturing Team and part of the Future Work Center research team. 


Britain needs a new social contract that guarantees good work as a right.

The term social contract refers to the rights and responsibilities of the institutions that provide work. Good work as a right means everyone should enjoy work that offers economic security, guards their well-being, provides for growth and development, allows freedom to engage in life beyond work, and fosters workers’ subjective working identity.

Increasing economic insecurity and the technology-driven transformation of work necessitate a redesign of Britain’s social contract. To accomplish it, Britain will need its leadership to engage effectively and authentically, and British democracy will have to become more inclusive. Workers will have to gain greater power as stakeholders in technology and the economy. The envisioned social contract will enhance the flexibility of the capitalist system by offering resilience and efficiencies.

Individuals shouldn’t have to shoulder responsibility for securing the right to good work.

The institutions that bear responsibility for work need to take on new rights and responsibilities. Currently, the...

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