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Fair work in the foundational economy – key data

April 29th 2021

The foundational economy is a large and important part of the economy. However this analysis of key data shows that many jobs in it are poor quality.

The foundational economy is a large and important part of the whole economy. It comprises ‘the goods and services which are the social and material infrastructure of civilised life because they provide daily essentials for all households’.

This report – written by Prof Anne Green and Prof Paul Sissons for the Bevan Foundation – analyses data on the retail, accommodation and food services, and social care sectors in Wales. It reveals that these sectors are characterised by quite pronounced job quality challenges:

  • a wide prevalence of comparatively low pay – in retail, accommodation, food & drink service and residential care, a majority of workers do not earn a Real Living Wage;
  • above average rates of part-time working;
  • above average use of zero-hours contracts;
  • low rates of in-work training in retail, food and drink service and accommodation; • some underutilisation of staff and relatively few workplaces with high performance working practices;
  • below average trades union membership in retail, but average average in health and social work;
  • a strong gender and age dimension to employment.

Report format: PDF

Language: English

Pages: 17

Cost:  Free


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