Published on 14th September 2018
Miguel Pérez García is President of the WEC America Latina and of the Colombian Association for Temporary Work Agencies (ACOSET). The region is home to over 29,000 private employment agencies who employ more than 5.5 million workers and records strong growth in the development of agency work and other HR services. In the aftermath of the G20 Employment Ministerial, he shares with the World Employment Confederation his views on the changes affecting the Latin American market.
What are the challenges and opportunities that the future of work brings in Latin America?
55% of the Latin American workforce holds informal work; which often means bad working conditions. So we need to help people to transition to formal, decent work. Private employment industry can certainly play a key role there. In Latin America, our industry constantly employs 5.3 million workers in formal, decent work.
But to deliver on those promises, we need a regulatory environment that enables us to offer our services. We need basic rule of law preventing violations of principles and rights at work and appropriate labour market regulation that allows for diverse forms of work. All around the world, we see clear positive correlations between well regulated private employment services and low levels of informality. As WEC America Latina, we work closely with our governments across the region to promote the adoption of international standards, like the ILO Convention 181. So far, in Latin America only two countries (Uruguay, Surinam) have ratified it. Most countries, including Argentina, are still lagging behind.
If labour markets want to be open, inclusive and sustainable, the future world of work will have to go hand-in-hand with social innovation. How are WEC America Latina and its members promoting social innovation practices in Latin America?
Implementing good social dialogue practice and cooperation with public employment services are two areas where a lot of work can be done to bring social
innovation in Latin America. This is particularly critical if we want to enable certain categories of workers like the youth and the unemployed to get on the labour market.
We have more than 100 000 passionate professionals in our industry who are willing to cooperate with other stakeholders to design active labour market policies and create the safety nets that will support people during their transitions. Thanks to our global network within the World Employment Confederation, we learn from experiences developed in other parts of the world and we are trying to transpose those lessons to our own market.
The Employment Ministers’ conclusions are a positive and forward-looking contribution to the discussions on the future of work and concur with some of the main objectives of the private employment industry: