Rapid technology changes, demographics, diversity, globalisation, new production models and the rise of the on-demand economy are some of the structural shifts that are currently reshaping the world of work.
These new trends create challenges for our current labour laws, welfare schemes, education systems and tax regimes. Labour markets need to evolve to ensure that they remain open, inclusive and sustainable – and enable everyone to grow and prosper.
To tackle the societal challenges related to the future of work and ensure that they truly benefit all EU citizens, the European Union adopted the European Pillar of Social Rights in 2017. The European Pillar of Social Rights sets out 20 key principles and rights to guide European and national policies in building fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems. It is structured around three priorities: equal opportunities for education and training and access to the labour market; fair working conditions; and access to social protection.
The European Semester process is the EU’s main instrument to deliver on the European Pillar of Social Rights and monitor reforms in the Member States. The Social Scoreboard tracks trends and performances across EU countries in areas covered by the Pillar, such as lifelong learning and people’s level of digital skills, inequality, the youth unemployment rate, the disposable income of households and the impact of social transfers on poverty reduction. It serves as a basis for the yearly country-specific recommendations made to Member States by the European Commission.
As labour markets enablers, the World Employment Confederation-Europe and its members believe that they have a leadership role to play, together with policy-makers and relevant stakeholders, in building futureproof labour markets.
The World Employment Confederation-Europe supports the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and considers its 20 principles as excellent goals for the EU and its Member States to aim for. In response to a public consultation on the proposed Action Plan for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights put forward by the European Commission in 2020, the World Employment Confederation-Europe reflects in particular on measures related to minimum wages, skills policies and working conditions for workers in diverse forms of work. It also points out to the need to gear the implementation of the Action Plan towards the economic and social recovery of Europe following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The World Employment Confederation-Europe’s vision for the future of work is established in a White Paper identifying key policy issues and providing recommendations to policy-makers to seize the opportunities that the new world of work brings.
The answer lies in developing new ways of working, learning and ensuring social protection for the benefit of workers, employers and society in general – a concept we called “social innovation”. Our Manifesto “No future of work without social innovation” makes clear calls for action in five key areas. Explore the infographic below and read more on our page dedicated to Social Innovation.