Research & Publications

Decent Work in Northern Ireland: The Challenge of Insecurity and Low Pay

Many analysts agree that the most challenging issue facing the labour market is the quality rather than the quantity of employment. The evidence presented in this Research In Brief however suggests that these headline figures have been masking a more worrying story about the changing nature and quality of employment in Northern Ireland. Specifically, this Research InBrief shows that insecure employment and low pay present particular challenges to improving the quality of jobs and providing decent work for all.

Public Expenditure and Investment in Northern Ireland

In order to become more fiscally sustainable Northern Ireland needs public investment to build productivity enhancing growth. This requires significant investment the scale of which will only be met by public expenditure. Further reductions in public investment will only entrench Northern Ireland’s already weakened position.

Public Sector Pay in Northern Ireland

Falling public sector pay has often been justified by the public/private pay gap. However, the simple ratio of median pay rates used to describe the gap in Northern Ireland is inaccurate and misleading. Using the same metric across the rest of the economy shows the unsuitability of this method.

Scrap the Pay Cap Poster

Poster declaring it is time for a decent pay settlement for all public sector workers.

Better Work Better Lives Policy

Policy document for the Better Work Better Lives campaign.

BWBL Campaign Progress update summer 2019

The purpose of this paper is to reflect and
review on the work we have done on the
Better Work Better Lives campaign to
date. It is also an opportunity for us to seek
to ensure that we are maintaining a level of
consistency in seeking to achieve the purpose
and objectives of the campaign on various
levels. We also want to use the opportunity to
assess what is working, consider what is not
and plan for the remainder of 2019.

BWBL Childcare Policy Report

Childcare in Northern Ireland is a policy issue that
needs careful and comprehensive consideration.
More households in Northern Ireland are paying for
childcare and are having to use more of it. At the
same time, public expenditure is disproportionately
aimed at funding childcare through social
transfers. We need to rebalance public support for
childcare for greater provision and less reliance on
Increasing women’s access to decent employment
should be a key policy aim of a comprehensive
childcare system. At the same time, consideration
must also be directed towards supporting parents
through increased rights to paid parental leave and
flexible working.
The current childcare workforce is characterised
by low pay and little or no career progression.
The workforce is also almost entirely female.
While greater access to childcare can improve the
prospects of many women workers, this should not
be at the expense of workers in the childcare sector.
We must therefore ensure that as we improve the
support for childcare provision, we also improve the
quality of childcare jobs.

Northern Ireland Committee
Irish Congress of Trades Unions
45-47 Donegall Street
Belfast BT1 2FG, Northern Ireland
Tel: 028 9024 7940
Fax: 028 9024 6898