What is the Future Role for Business in Society?
Trends Briefing: 27th May 2021 | 9am-10am | Register here
Before the pandemic, the relationship between business and society had become increasingly one-sided; corporation tax had been in decline for twenty years, while increasingly agile business models – epitomised by the advent of zero-hours contracts and the gig economy – saw businesses retaining access to labour whenever it was required, with none of the obligations associated with traditional employment.
Where businesses have involved themselves in social issues – advocating for racial equality, environmental protections, or taking a side politically – it’s been difficult to separate moral righteousness from economic pragmatism.
However, as economies around the world grapple with the economic consequences of the pandemic, a new role for businesses is emerging, whether they like it or not.
Corporation taxes are set to rise in both the UK and the United States, with the US in particular spearheading a push for a global minimum rate of corporation tax in order to prevent a business exodus, while precarious forms of employment are set to face greater and greater scrutiny, challenging the viability of the employment models underpinning the gig economy.
All the while, the issues that loomed prior to the pandemic – from the culture war to the potential disruption caused by automation – will return to prominence as the health crisis subsides.
What will be the role for businesses in the post-pandemic society?