Working Better

What is Working Better?

Working Better aimed to identify and promote innovative new ways of working which help meet the challenges of the 21st century.

We launched 'Working Better' in Summer 2008, to explore how we can match the aspirations of employees with the needs of employers. Continuing from the 'Transformation of Work' project undertaken by the former Equal Opportunities Commission, we expanded the parameters of Working Better to include the needs of parents, carers, disabled people, young people and older workers.

Working Better aimed to identify and promote innovative new ways of working which help meet the challenges of the 21st century.

As part of our consultation we spoke to people at big and small businesses to find out how they balance work and personal lives. We talked to both employers and their staff about their personal experiences.

Working Better looked at the limitations of current policy and practice, highlighted where new thinking and creative solutions are needed, and put forward a range of options and solutions for change.

Working better guidance for employers

A manager's guide to flexible working

This guide is designed to help business managers discover and implement innovative working methods which improve productivity and customer service, and enable employees to balance their work and personal lives.

Working better: the perfect partnership - workplace solutions for disabled people and business

In this report we looked in depth at how we should support the ambitions and career development of disabled people.

Working better research

Extensive research looking at barriers in the workplace and ways to overcome these.

Research report 8: Mobility, careers and inequalities - A study of work-life mobility and the returns from education
Drawing both on an extensive literature review and our own analysis of work life mobility between 1991 and 2005, we show that inequalities in the prospects of different equality groups are more marked for younger workers.

Research report 10: Equality group inequalities in education,employment and earnings: A research review and analysis of trends over time
This report presents a review of data on the relationship between education, employment, income, social class and group-based inequalities relating to gender, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation.

Research report 15: Work and care - a study of modern parents
This report presents the 'State of the Nation' in regards to parents and their working and caring responsibilities in 2009.

Research report 16: Flexible working policies - a comparative review
This report was commissioned to the Institute for Women's Policy Research to examine the impact of the UK 'Right to Request, and Duty to Consider, Flexible Working' on gender equality and the access to quality flexible working for both men and women.

Research report 22: Older people inside and outside the labour market - a review
In response to concerns that current systems will be unable to cope with an ageing population, the government has targeted key areas for reform, including: social and health care, education, benefits and pensions. The aim of this report is to undertake a review of older people both inside and outside the labour market at different life stages.

Research report 36: Integration in the workplace: emerging employment practice on age, sexual orientation and religion or belief
This report outlines findings from research carried out for the Commission by the Employment Research Institute (ERI) at Edinburgh Napier University and the Comparative Organisation and Equality Research Centre (COERC) at London Metropolitan University. The report examines good practice in relation to recruitment, promotion or advancement at work based on the three equality strands of age, sexual orientation and religion or belief.

Research summary 41: Working Better: Fathers, family and work - contemporary perspectives
This paper offers new insights into how fathers experience and think about work and care in Great Britain today. On some issues, fathers hold less traditional views than mothers. But although fathers express egalitarian views, in practice, most still work full-time and their partners provide the bulk of childcare within the family. However, there are encouraging signs of change. Flexible working is highly valued by fathers for the benefits it brings to family life and they are optimistic about proposals for more leave for fathers.

Research report 43: Older workers: employment preferences, barriers and solutions 
This paper identifes barriers to employment, preferences and proposes potential solutions to these based on: a survey of 1,494 older individuals aged 50 - 75, a review of employer good practice and interviews with stakeholders and employers.

Research report 47: The equality impacts of the current recession
It is known that, following a period of recession, employment effects are felt by individuals for some time afterwards, including rising levels of unemployment, reduced income levels, etc. The effects of this are not always borne evenly, with some groups more affected than others. Against this background, the Commission requested the University of Warwick Institute for Employment Research to look at the impact of the recession with respect to four strands of the Commission's mandate: gender, race/ethnicity, age, and disability.

Research report 77: Opening up work: The views of disabled people and people with long-term health conditions
This research was designed to understand how the world of work could be opened up to enable more disabled people to participate fully and more employers to realise the potential of their disabled employees. It sought to look beyond the barriers and to identify how workplaces could become more inclusive.

Last Updated: 12 Mar 2015