Election 2024: Information Technology & Telecoms

Election 2024 IT&T logo

The world of work is changing and new technologies are fast making their way into our workplaces, including artificial intelligence.

While this technology offers a great opportunity for us to improve our work and productivity, it’s vital that workers are involved and prioritised in any decisions around its use.

The problem

  • Recent mass redundancies at tech companies like Twitter and Spotify demonstrated the lack of job security, and the problems with boom-and-bust hiring and firing cycles in the tech sector.
  • The sector is notorious for unmanageable workloads. The ‘sprints’ culture can lead to long hours, stress and worsened mental health.
  • Prospect’s 2022 survey on tech worker priorities showed the extent of worker surveillance at tech companies with 1 in 5 tech workers being subject to employee monitoring or gathering technologies. 
  • The 2022 tech workers survey also demonstrated that the key issues workers faced in the industry were lack of pay transparency and lack of work-life balance.
  • Prospect’s 2023 briefing on BT’s role in UK’s tech sector and digital economy highlighted the precarity of BT’s position as one of the UK’s business crown jewels. Vulnerability to stock market short-termism and the threat of hostile takeover, coupled with a fall in worker morale and government failure to follow through on manifesto infrastructure commitments, means the UK is not making the most of this critical strategic asset. 
Workers who said that flexibility at work is an important factor 93%
Workers who work remotely 63%
Workers who would like to see their employer to do more to support responsible tech 63%

What we want to see happen

Workers in the tech and telecoms sector who keep our country connected and are at the forefront of technological developments need their critical work recognised properly.  

We want the next government to commit to:

1. A long-term strategy to aid BT’s vital research and development role in the UK 

As well as sustained investment in the workforce and skills, recognising the national importance of BT as the second highest tech sector investor in the country and its role in delivering superfast internet infrastructure. 

2. A right to disconnect

Tech workers are at the coal face of the implementation of employment monitoring technologies with little or no say in how these technologies are implemented.

3. Enhance worker protections against mass redundancies

To avoid another digital P&O, like what happened at Twitter in late 2022. Tech workers need unions, and at Prospect we’re growing our membership in this area. 

Equality, diversity, and inclusion 

As well as the above policies, it is in the best interest of all workers if the government prioritises equality, diversity and inclusion. We would also like the government to commit to:

1. Demanding pay transparency from tech companies 

This is a real issue in the sector – sorting it could help close the pay gaps which are common in the sector.  

2. Pushing companies to drop grade requirements and university degrees as essential criteria for roles 

Applications should be considered on their own merit – many successful workers in the tech sector come from a range of backgrounds with a range of experience but the sector could and should be more diverse. 

*Note: This page reflects current Prospect thinking. Prospect National Conference takes place in early June. Relevant new policy agreed at Conference will be reflected here shortly afterwards.

Vote 24: Prospect’s manifesto to make work better

Working with our members, we have developed an agenda to make work better in Prospect sectors and right across the economy.
Learn more

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