Tech-driven changes in job markets threaten social contract with workers: Experts

By: PTI | New Delhi/geneva |

October 22, 2020 1:44:36 pm

The research additionally discovered that the tempo of automation of workforce and digitisation of office is larger than the worldwide common for India operations of corporations. (Representative picture: Bloomberg)

Changes to job markets pushed by new applied sciences, accelerated additional by the COVID-19 pandemic, are opening up staff to threats in addition to alternatives, specialists and business leaders stated on Thursday at a summit organised by WEF.

Panelists on the World Economic Forum’s Jobs Reset Summit 2020, being held on-line from October 20-23, additionally stated the Twenty first-century employment mannequin appears quite a bit just like the nineteenth century, as gaps have gotten seen in the social safety techniques and the pandemic has created extraordinary vulnerabilities for staff.

In the subsequent 5 years, machines will displace an estimated 85 million jobs however create round 97 million new jobs throughout 15 industries and 26 economies, based on the WEF’s Future of Jobs Report 2020.

The international recession pushed by the pandemic has accelerated this development and created a extremely unsure outlook for international labour markets.

The research additionally discovered that the tempo of automation of workforce and digitisation of office is larger than the worldwide common for India operations of corporations.

Another WEF research discovered that as many as 57 per cent of staff in India are involved about potential job losses in the subsequent one yr, though a big majority of workers additionally count on their employers to assist them retrain for brand spanking new roles.

“Technology has a major, if not the most important, role in shaping the future of work,” stated C Vijayakumar, President and CEO of HCL Technologies.

“The fact that technologies potentially allow us to work anywhere, anytime sounds extraordinarily attractive,” stated Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

“But if it similarly would allow someone to tell me that I must work anywhere, anytime, regardless of my own choice, it’s somewhat less attractive,” he added.

Ryder additional stated the gig economic system (short-term positions) — as revealed by the pandemic — has created extraordinary vulnerability in the world of labor, not simply in the growing world, but additionally “in the attics of Manhattan.”

Freelancers should not clear about their employment standing and may discover themselves falling via the gaps of social safety techniques. “The 21st-century employment model looks a lot like the 19th century… it took us a century to build the institutions to put some decency into that business model,” Ryder famous.

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, warned that “Internet-mediated platform jobs are absolutely breaking down wages and conditions.”

Burrow advocated a brand new social contract between staff, employers and governments to make sure that each working individual enjoys an ample minimal wage for a most variety of hours labored, common social safety and occupational well being and security as a basic proper.

She known as for an finish to employer impunity, with “mandated due diligence around workers and their rights”, together with ample grievance procedures and cures.
Collective bargaining has collapsed, with 75 per cent of individuals reporting that their incomes have stagnated or gone backward for the reason that late Eighties and until we rebuild these commitments, we gained’t have a good economic system, stated Burrow.

“Flexibility doesn’t mean exploitative work,” she added.

Panelists stated what is required is huge funding in individuals, workplaces and jobs in development industries.

People want skilling and reskilling. In explicit, governments and corporations should “invest in social protection — the most effective lubricant of change,” Ryder stated.

He identified that change has been unhealthy for too many individuals, so they’re extra prone to embrace change if they’re reassured they gained’t fall via the cracks in the method.

Ryder stated workplaces want re-engineering, which would wish higher legal guidelines and rules to guard staff, whereas extra funding wants to enter areas with the best potential for job development, together with inexperienced applied sciences, the care economic system, infrastructure and the agricultural economic system.

Increasing public funding by 1 per cent of GDP in superior and growing economies would create as much as 33 million new jobs, stated Burrow, citing the International Monetary Fund.

“We can double that by investing in care,” she added.

Vijayakumar underlined the potential of low-carbon applied sciences, saying: “The 21st century will be marked by the sustainable economy and tech companies have a huge role to play to create these new jobs in the intersection of climate change and public services, as well as consumer products.”

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