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Annex A: G20 Priorities on the Future of Work

G20 Labour and Employment Ministers Meeting 2017
May 19, 2017, Bad Neunahr

Structural changes in our economies driven by trends such as technological change and digitalisation, globalisation, demographic transitions, and changing individual and societal expectations about work are leading to an increasing diversity of occupations and employment. Labour market and employment policies that address challenges and harness the opportunities inherent in these global trends are key to shaping the future of work and fostering sustainable and inclusive labour markets, societies and growth, ensuring that the benefits of growth are shared widely.

Smart and innovative solutions, that respond both to workers' and employers' needs, are required to encourage job-rich structural change, to assist workers in adapting to this change across their whole working lives, and to adequately respond to the diversity of expectations about work.

Our strategies will also address the problem of rising inequalities, including growing wage gaps, and we will pay specific attention to certain population groups, including women and youth, regions and sectors that are particularly prone to disruption of employment and wage loss or face barriers to accessing new areas of job creation. We agree on the following priorities to shape the future of work and commit to develop targeted policies based on national practices and circumstances.

i. Strengthening skills development and adaptation throughout the working life

New business models and economic trends are leading to changes offering new job opportunities while at the same time leading to new skills demands. Recognising that lifelong learning and education and training programmes are key to help workers keep pace with technological and occupational changes, we will address the need of workers to reskill and upskill, including through multi-stakeholder partnerships, while paying specific attention to disadvantaged groups. We recognise the role of employers in developing workers' skills, and, through partnership with government and workers' organisations, ensuring that education and skills systems meet the changing labour market demands and the needs of businesses.

Building on the G20 Skills Strategy, the G20 Policy Recommendations to Enhance Employability and the G20 Principles for Effective Public Employment Services, we

  1. Reaffirm the need to foster adequate skills, especially foundational skills and those required in the digital economy that prepare people for change in the labour market over their working life. To this end, we emphasise our commitment to the G20 Initiative to Promote Quality Apprenticeship and welcome this year's G20 initiative on Digital Skills in Vocational Education and Training by the G20 Ministers responsible for the Digital Economy;
  2. Will put special emphasis on supporting workers, as well as job seekers, through labour market policies and the design of effective measures that provide greater support for skills adjustment throughout the working life. We will continue our dialogue on national experiences and good practice in this area;
  3. Recognise the crucial role of public employment services in the implementation of active labour market policies to help individuals find employment and to recognise, adapt and adjust their skills. This includes enhanced job search assistance, skills assessment, advice on accessing training, financial support, career counselling to gain employment or assist with career progression, and leveraging digitalisation to provide broader access to these services.

ii. Promoting adequate social protection and social security coverage for all workers, including those in non-standard forms of employment

We observe new work arrangements and an increase of non-standard forms of employment in most of our countries, which will continue to pose challenges in terms of social protection. We reaffirm our commitment to promote inclusive and sustainable social protection systems, including social protection floors. We recognise a growing need for policy solutions and coordination to ensure access to appropriate social protection for workers in all forms of employment and work arrangements, so that workers are supported to manage risks and adapt to different circumstances as the labour market continues to change.

Building on the G20 Policy Recommendations for Promoting More Equitable and Sustainable Social Protection Systems, we agree, according to national practices and circumstances, to take further action in the following areas also in consultation with the social partners:

  1. Promote non-discrimination and fair treatment in social protection systems amongst all different contractual arrangements including non-standard forms of employment;
  2. Consider the introduction or strengthening of elements in social protection schemes to facilitate job mobility by supporting the portability of benefits and entitlements across different jobs, different types of employment, as well as periods out of employment;
  3. Improve the functioning and administration of social protection systems, including by for example using digital technologies to facilitate access to information on benefits and entitlements as well as administrative procedures for registration and contribution payments;
  4. Institute measures to increase compliance among employers and workers with respect to social security contributions, including efforts to address misclassification of employment status in line with the ILO Employment Relationship Recommendation, 2006 (No. 198);
  5. Strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of social insurance systems, including, when necessary, by complementing contributory social insurance systems with non-contributory schemes, also involving providers of new forms of employment such as platforms.

iii. Encouraging social dialogue including collective bargaining for adaptable and fair work arrangements and working conditions

The current changes in the world of work also generate new challenges for workers and companies with regard to where, when and how work is carried out. This increasingly leads to blurring boundaries of work, affecting rights and responsibilities for both workers and employers. Innovative and experimental approaches at the company level can help identify and develop viable models on how to organise working time and suggest where work can take place in a dynamic, adaptable and fair manner, taking into account the requirements and needs of both workers and companies. Respect for fundamental principles and rights at work is a foundation for social dialogue and collective bargaining in a changing world of work.

We call upon employers and trade unions, as well as local communities and other stakeholders, to foster solutions at national, sectoral and company levels regarding transferable good practices and, where appropriate, inform existing or new legislation.

We will also support employers, trade unions and other stakeholders through the provision of labour market information and forecasts, and through facilitating dialogue on expected changes to workplaces.

We will follow closely the emergence of new business models in the digital economy including platforms and their implications for employment relationships and rights at work. We request

the Employment Working Group with support from the International Organisations to provide a preliminary report to us in 2018 on these developments, including the identification of challenges and opportunities as well as suggestions for possible policy responses.

iv. Harnessing the opportunities of structural change for new and better jobs

We stress the importance of a policy framework for the future of work that supports innovation and inclusive growth with full respect for the Decent Work Agenda and fundamental principles and rights at work.

To foster job-rich structural change, we acknowledge the need to create enabling framework conditions for job creation, particularly in regions that risk gaining less from technological change and globalisation than others do. Recognising that the effects of globalisation are often localised and some regions and areas are more negatively affected than others, we must ensure that all regions are able to gain from globalisation.

Policies can include the development of regional programmes to support new industries in line with the Policy Priorities for Creating Better Jobs agreed in the Melbourne LEMM Declaration 2014, or they can support retaining existing industries, the promotion of labour mobility, and the use of advances in technology to assist workers to take up other employment opportunities, for example through tele-working when they are geographically distant. Strategies to foster entrepreneurship as set out in the G20 Entrepreneurship Action Plan can also contribute to the creation of quality jobs and support micro, small and medium sized enterprises, innovative start-ups and the self-employed to access new opportunities arising from technological change and international trade. In addition, we also recognise the importance of enhancing the quality of employment and undertaking measures to facilitate the transition from the informal to the formal economy. Recognising the need for all stakeholders to work together to prepare for structural changes and explore new opportunities, we will promote suitable framework conditions, also ensuring that labour market regulations support new job creation.

v. Monitoring trends and exchanging good practices

We commit to continuing our discussion of emerging policy options via the exchange of national experience and practices between G20 members and ask International Organisations to provide analyses on global trends and changes in the world of work and their impact on our labour markets, also in view of local effects of globalisation. This could also include technical assistance where appropriate. We will also contribute our experiences to support international processes, in particular the ILO Centenary Initiative on the Future of Work and, where applicable, the revision of the OECD Jobs Strategy and the OECD's initiative on the Future of Work, to ensure that our citizens have the right skills to face the future of employment and ensure that we promote a global economy that works for everyone.

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Source: Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales