Top UK strategist added to IOSH 2017 line-up

29 Aug 2017

A former UK government chief adviser who spearheaded the UK’s recent review into modern employment practices will address the leading global safety and health body’s annual international conference this year.

At IOSH 2017, Matthew Taylor, now Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), will explore issues surrounding the ‘gig economy’ as flexible, ‘zero-hours’ and self-employed work becomes more common. He will also lead an expert panel on the subject.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May tasked Mr Taylor with examining modern employment. His report, ‘Good work: the Taylor review of modern working practices’, published last month, made 50 recommendations to balance flexibility and worker protection and achieve “good work for all”.

According to best estimates, nearly five million people in the UK work as part of the gig economy, with increasing numbers doing so in other parts of the world. This brings both opportunities and risks.

The fluidity of new work arrangements can challenge traditional ways of assessing risk and protecting people. Safety and health practitioners can help employers adapt and improve.

Mr Taylor will deliver his speech on the first day of the event, organised by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), and explore the impact of the gig economy on the health, safety and wellbeing of workers.

Looking ahead to the Conference, he said: “The review I led into modern working practices showed that the UK’s labour market is in good health.

“But while flexible working is beneficial in many ways, we cannot lose sight of the importance of high quality work. We must ensure employees are treated fairly with opportunities for development and fulfilment.

“IOSH 2017 provides an opportunity to explore in greater depth how working practices such as zero hours contracts and self-employment impact on the safety and health of the workforce. I am looking forward to continuing the debate in Birmingham on this hugely important topic.”

IOSH 2017 will be held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham, UK, on 20-21 November. The conference theme is ‘transforming health and safety across the world’.

Mr Taylor brings with him a wealth of experience in the business and political arena. He has led the RSA for over a decade having previously been General Secretary and Chief Executive of the Institute for Public Policy Research, Britain’s leading think tank.

As political strategist for Tony Blair’s Labour Government, he played a major role in the party’s election victory in 1997.

Also taking to the stage at IOSH 2017 will be Stephen Martin, Director-General of the Institute of Directors; legendary Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson; and Geoff McDonald, Executive Director of Open Minds Mental Health. Television broadcaster Cathy Newman will chair the event.

IOSH has introduced a range of new ticket deals including special rates for full-time students and apprentices. To make an online booking, click here. For general conference enquiries email, or call +44 (0)116 257 3129.

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Notes for editors:

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is the world’s leading chartered professional body for people responsible for safety and health in the workplace. We have more than 46,000 members in over 120 countries.

We act as a champion, adviser, advocate and trainer for safety and health professionals working in organisations of all sizes. Our focus is to support our members in their efforts to create workplaces that are safer, healthier and more sustainable.

Our shared objective is a world where work is safe and healthy for every working person, every day. Through our 2017-2022 strategy, ‘WORK 2022 – shaping the future of safety and health’, we will seek to enhance the occupational safety and health profession, build strategic collaborative partnerships across industry and strengthen our influence globally through impactful research and development.

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