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Bring a human-centered agenda to future of work, says ILO report on Future of Work

The commission outlines a vision for a human-centred agenda that is based on investing in people's capabilities, institutions of work and in decent and sustainable work.

Sonal Khetarpal   New Delhi     Last Updated: January 22, 2019  | 19:02 IST
Bring a human-centered agenda to future of work, says ILO report on Future of Work

A universal labour guarantee, social protection from birth to old age and an entitlement to lifelong learning are among the ten recommendations made in the report. Due to the unprecedented transformational change in the world of work, there are several transformational challenges that are bound to occur.  Artificial intelligence, automation and robotics will lead to job losses, as skills become obsolete. However, these same technological advances, along with the greening of economies will also create millions of jobs-if new opportunities are seized.  The International Labour Organisation's Global Commission on the Future of Work calls on governments to commit to address these challenges.

The report was co-chaired by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven. The commission outlines a vision for a human-centred agenda that is based on investing in people's capabilities, institutions of work and in decent and sustainable work. "Countless opportunities lie ahead to improve the quality of working lives, expand choice, close the gender gap, reverse the damages wreaked by global inequality. Yet none of this will happen by itself. Without decisive action we will be sleepwalking into a world that widens existing inequalities and uncertainties," says the report.

Among the 10 recommendations are:

  • A universal labour guarantee that protects fundamental workers' rights, an adequate living wage, limits on hours of work and safe and healthy workplaces.
  • Guaranteed social protection from birth to old age that supports people's needs over the life cycle.
  • A universal entitlement to lifelong learning that enables people to skill, reskill and upskill.
  • Managing technological change to boost decent work, including an international governance system for digital labour platforms.
  • Greater investments in the care, green and rural economies.
  • A transformative and measurable agenda for gender equality.
  • Reshaping business incentives to encourage long-term investments.

The report was put together by the 27-member commission, which is made up of leading figures from business and labour, think tanks, academia, government and non-governmental organisations.

"The report should stimulate engagement and partnerships within and between national and regional jurisdictions to ensure that the global economy and global society becomes more equitable, just and inclusive. At the same it should inspire global action to contain or eliminate challenges that humanity has inflicted on itself in the course of history," said Ramaphosa.

Lofven said: "The world of work is undergoing great changes. They create many opportunities for more and better jobs. But governments, trade unions and employers need to work together, to make economies and labour markets more inclusive. Such a social dialogue can help make globalization work for everyone."

"The issues highlighted in this report matter to people everywhere and to the planet," commented ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. "They may be challenging but we ignore them at our peril."

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