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To discuss how you and your organisation can get more involved with The Work Foundation, please contact us.

Call 020 7976 3575 or email


David Shoesmith
Business Development Manager

Good Work Commission

For the two years to July 2011 The Work Foundation provided the secretariat to the Good Work Commission, which, under the skilful chairmanship of Alan Parker, CEO of Brunswick, explored the relevance of the concept of good work to business, to employees and to wider society in the current climate of change. At its core, the Commission's intention was to help people and organisations understand how to provide more 'good work' at a time when working life has become more intense, more routine and less secure.

The commissioners concluded that there is a business case for employers to invest in good work because it can be demonstrated to improve productivity, employee retention and customer satisfaction. The challenge for UK businesses, they argued, is to create more good work to meet the needs of an increasingly demanding and more highly educated workforce.

Related Reports

Compensation Culture: Is executive pay excessive? Does it matter?
This paper explores the current debate about what some would see as ‘excessive’ executive pay in the UK. It looks at the evidence behind claims of damage caused to both civil society and in organisations, due to wide and widening pay dispersion.

Professor Stephen Bevan
18 November 2013

High performance, good work and productivity
This paper examines the concept of ‘good work’ and discusses its role in supporting improvements in employee engagement, wellbeing, performance and productivity.

Professor Stephen Bevan
28 May 2012

Good Work and Our Times: Report of the Good Work Commission
This report from the Good Work Commission explores what makes ‘good work’ and how we can create more of it. It is based on two key assets: the great breadth of experience and views of the Commissioners and the considerable body of research produced by The Work Foundation over the past decade.

Lucy Parker and Stephen Bevan
02 July 2011

Good Jobs
Employers believe ‘good jobs’ are linked to success: according to the survey in this report, employers want new government policies to encourage the creation of ‘good jobs’.

Susannah Constable, David Coats, Stephen Bevan, Michelle Mahdon
22 November 2009

Work and the human claim to uniqueness: A contribution to the philosophy of work
This new essay explores one of the oldest contentions in the philosophy of work – whether work is ‘intrinsic’ to human beings.

Stephen Overell
24 December 2008

Achieving high performance
Report on the role of CSR within business with The Virtuous Circle.

Stephen Bevan, Nick Isles, Peter Emery and Tony Hoskins
30 March 2004

Related Events

Employee engagement, job enrichment and ‘constrained’ work
This Partner roundtable will explore the challenges facing organisations, particularly those with constrained job design, in delivering job quality and employee engagement. We will discuss a range of job enrichment strategies and look at how we can equip organisations and managers to move to more supportive work environments. We would like Partners to share examples of their own good practice in supporting employee engagement.

Wed, 26 February 2014
09:00 - 12:00

Topical debate and drinks reception: Good work or any work?
Good Work or Any Work forms part of the celebration of 93 years of The Work Foundation and marks a new and important era for us alongside Lancaster University as together we continue to focus on the drivers of economic change, the need for innovation and growth and for more and better jobs across the UK.

Tue, 22 November 2011
18:00 - 21:00

Related Blogs

Universal Credit’s monthly payments: A nudge towards employment?
Kate Summers, a research assistant at the centre for workforce effectiveness within The Work Foundation, looks at the latest research which suggests the decision to change the Universal Credit to monthly payments might instead have a negative impact on those who are most at need.

02 October 2013

The Work Programme, ESA claimants, and the problem of payment by results
In response to the ERSA publishing their stats on job starts in the Work Programme, Jenny writes about some of the unresolved issues.

Jenny Gulliford
20 June 2013

58% of employees ‘not bothered’ about work – should we be alarmed?
According to the latest CIPD Employee Outlook survey, 58% of UK employees are simply ‘not bothered’ about their work. But should this be cause for concern? The answer depends on what perspective we take on the increasingly popular issue of engagement. It could even be that this figure offers a source of hope for employers who are increasingly having to do more with fewer resources.

Lucie Zernerova
27 July 2012

Can the European social model help firms recover?
How often do HR professionals in the UK get asked to brief their senior teams about the impact of the European social model on their business? Unless they have operations in the EU, or have European Works Councils, my guess would be not very often.

Prof Stephen Bevan
30 May 2012

‘Gis a Job Mr Beecroft
It is a bitter irony that, while I was waiting for the Beecroft Report to be published yesterday, my son – who has learning difficulties – was dismissed by his employer.

Stephen Bevan
22 May 2012

The Work Foundation - Ten Years On
Ten years ago today The Work Foundation was launched at an event in London’s Docklands. It was a bold and, some thought, foolhardy venture. Picking up the baton from its trusted predecessor, The Industrial Society , was always going to be a daunting task. But I’d argue that the vision for the new organisation set out at the time remains compelling and relevant today.

Professor Stephen Bevan
11 April 2012

Soccer star’s health concerns illustrate the plight of thousands
The Manchester United and Scotland star Darren Fletcher has announced an extended break from football while he receives treatment for Ulcerative Colitis – a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Professor Stephen Bevan
14 December 2011

The Work Programme: Towards Personalised Support?
Few priorities are as pressing at the moment than supporting people back into work – this is especially important for the young and those with health difficulties.

Rosemary Thomas
01 December 2011

It’s not all about Women’s Sacrifices…
Reading Kate Bolick’s article in The Guardian this weekend reminded me how much the rules of the game have changed in the world of work. Technically it is now a world of fair opportunities and fair competition for both women and men. However, in practice – not so much.

Ksenua Zheltoukhova
29 November 2011

Good Work or Good Intentions?
There is an expression in military circles that goes: ‘Feet ok? Mail getting through?’ Two little questions that sum up the entire universe of an average soldier and his happiness. And no matter how his feet or whether his mail has indeed ‘Got through’ he responds with the affirmative: ‘Yes Sir’ because he knows that is the correct answer and will keep him out of trouble.

Katie Hopkins
22 November 2011

With the jobless total over 2.5m, why should we worry whether work is ‘good’ work?
Since the publication in July of our Good Work Commission report ‘Good Work and Our Times’, the issue of business ethics, corporate responsibility and ‘good’ capitalism has been high on the agenda.

Steven Bevan
08 November 2011

Related News

Key lessons from the Good Work Commission
Ksenia Zheltoukhova, reseacher at the Centre for Workforce Effectiveness at The Work Foundation, discusses the key findings from the Good Work Commission.

Ksenia Zheltoukhova
11 January 2012