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Working Lives


Working lives across the UK are changing.

The impact of the Covid-19 has changed how and where people work, and the cost of the living crisis is making employers review what their responsibility to employees is.

As people’s experiences of work change, our Working Lives strand aims to start a new debate about what responsible employment looks like. We will work with employers to develop evidence-based inclusive practices - with a particular focus on workers facing structural barriers to entering, staying or progressing in work.


  • Employer briefing: Financial wellbeing during the cost of living crisis

    This employer briefing draws on Work Foundation research exploring how the cost of living crisis is shaping the way employer approach financial wellbeing at work. Illustrating current practice through case studies, the briefing sets out six practical steps that employers can consider to support their employee’s financial wellbeing, now and in the future.

  • Shifting Sands: Employer responsibility during the cost of living crisis

    We are living through an unparalleled and enduring crisis in living standards. This briefing examines how the cost of living crisis is shaping the way employers approach financial wellbeing at work, analysing support available for workers and outlining practical steps to improve it beyond periods of crisis.

  • The Gender Gap: Insecure work in the UK

    New analysis of UK labour market data has identified a gender insecurity gap, with working women nearly twice as likely as working men to be in severely insecure work – and the situation worsens for mothers, disabled women and women from specific ethnic minority backgrounds.

  • Gender Matters 2022

    Gender Matters 2022 - a collaboration between the Academy for Gender, Work and Leadership at Lancaster University Management School, the Work Foundation and Diversity UK - that tracks inclusion challenges in UK organisations and the world of work. The research looks at the gender pay gap, the leadership pipeline, and managing personal and professional lives.

  • The changing workplace: Enabling disability-inclusive hybrid working

    The Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally shifted the way in which people work, with a rise in remote and hybrid working. While many workers, businesses and sectors have benefited from changing working practices during the pandemic, disabled people bore the brunt of the pandemic’s economic consequences and experienced higher rates of unemployment and redundancies than non-disabled people.

  • Digital Boundaries and Disconnection at Work – A Guide for Employers

    This guide to digital boundaries and disconnection at work, produced jointly by the Work Foundation and Prospect, explores the implications of an 'always on' culture for businesses, teams and individuals, and lays out key principles to help employers develop their own approaches that support workers to fully disengage from work outside of core hours and when on leave.

  • Unlocking flexible working

    Government has proposed reforms to flexible working regulations, but to support wider access to flexible working, barriers to take-up should be addressed. This article features stories of two people we spoke with: Laura, who has found remote working beneficial for her mental wellbeing, and Sarah, whose experience highlights the role that flexible work may increasingly play in staff retention.

  • Making hybrid inclusive - key priorities for employers and Government

    This joint research by the Work Foundation and The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) explores the implications of remote and hybrid working on diversity and inclusion at work, and finds that employers could undo the progress made over the last 18 months and deepen workplace inequalities if organisations fail to override deep-rooted perceptions of ‘office culture.’

  • Post-pandemic hybrid working poses new challenges to diversity and inclusion

    Hybrid working is here to stay. But have organisational policies and management practices kept pace to support new ways of working? Without addressing policy-to-practice gaps, organisational culture, and the role of the manager to get the best out of disparate teams, there is a risk that pre-Covid-19 workplace inequalities will be exacerbated, and new inequalities may emerge.