The Chancellor’s stated commitment in this week’s Budget to increase long term productivity means he should back the ACAS workplace initiative according to Ian Brinkley, Senior Economic Advisor, The Work Foundation.

“The UK has consistently lagged behind its EU counterparts in terms of productivity, despite heavy government investment in education and business investment in new technology.” says Brinkley

“Something is clearly missing and that something is missing INSIDE businesses. ACAS is calling for a united approach from businesses, trade unions and other social partner institutions to tackle cultural issues within the workplace that are stifling productivity; such as skilled management, building trust and clarity on responsibilities.

“Government needs to recognise ACAS’ wisdom in championing this joined up approach to tackling the productivity problem. It needn’t cost them any money, it just needs Ministerial support and enthusiasm.

In further budget reaction Mike Kelly, head of Living Wage at KPMG comments on the announcement by the Chancellor on the new National Living Wage. He said: “The new compulsory National Living Wage is very welcome news for the more than two million of the working poor who will get a significant pay rise. Enshrining the Living Wage in regulation is a brave move and by 2020 the National Living Wage will reach 60 per cent of median earnings.

“For employers who are concerned at whether the increased payroll costs will be fully offset by reduced corporation tax and national insurance contributions, our experience has seen lower absence, increased productivity and a more engaged workforce.”

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