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Shaping a Human-Centered Future of Work

Ministerial Declaration, G20 Labour and Employment Ministers' Meeting 2019
Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan, September 2, 2019
[pdf]

  1. We, the Ministers of Labour and Employment of G20 members and invited countries, met in Matsuyama, Japan on 1-2 September 2019 to discuss global developments with respect to employment, and progress on our previous commitments, and agree on policy priorities to address demographic change, new forms of work, and global efforts to realize gender equality.
  2. While global economic growth and labour markets have improved in recent years, there are emerging uncertainties in the economic outlook. This will add to the challenges G20 countries are already facing as a result of, in particular, globalization, digitalization, and demographic transitions.
  3. To shape a human-centered future of work, we seek to ensure coherence between policies for strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive economic growth, social inclusion, full and productive employment, and decent work. We recognize that action and cooperation with social partners is key to ensuring that the future of work builds on appropriate responses to demographic transitions, further progress in gender equality, and sound development of new forms of work. We will also continue to pursue our commitments to address labour market and social challenges.
  4. In pursuit of our objectives, we will build on the results of previous G20 presidencies , taking into account the relevant international frameworks such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work, 2019, and, with concerted efforts brought by tripartite partners, commit to the following human-centered future of work policy priorities in accordance with our national circumstances:

Demographic change

Adapting to demographic change

  1. Demographic change, together with technological advances and globalization, are reshaping the world of work. Population ageing is progressing in G20 countries at different rates, while in some countries the youth population share continues to grow.
  2. An ageing population will bring new job opportunities associated with the "silver economy", but without appropriate actions, also has the potential to result in shortages of labour and skills, slower economic growth, and poverty and inequality in older age. We recognize the importance of promoting an active ageing society that enables all to participate in the labour market without discrimination. In addition, we recognize that labour mobility may facilitate the better matching of supply and demand in our labour markets.
  3. Building on the G20 Principles on Silver Economy and Active Ageing (2015 Ankara), we endorse the G20 Policy Priorities towards Active Ageing in Employment (Annex 1).
  4. We will take a comprehensive approach to active ageing. This combines policy interventions targeting older workers and employers, and focusing on enhancing the employability of older workers with the involvement of social partners. In adapting to longer life expectancy, we will promote policies that enable and encourage workers to choose later and more flexible retirement, as appropriate, while maintaining adequate and sustainable pension benefits. We will encourage employers to retain and reskill older workers and recruit without age discrimination. We will also strengthen lifelong learning and support for employment transition of older workers.
  5. Many G20 countries are also confronted by high rates of youth unemployment and informality. We will continue to take measures to enhance youth employment opportunities and employability, including through education and training. Doing so will help achieve the goal agreed by G20 Leaders in Antalya of reducing the share of young people who are most at risk of being permanently left behind in the labour market by 15% by 2025.

Longer working life

  1. Working lives may be longer in an active ageing society. We recognize the contribution of quality working conditions to workers' mental and physical health and safety. We affirm that our working lives need to allow for adequate time for private life in order to be sustainable. We emphasize the importance of opportunities to improve and fully utilize one's skills to maintain high job satisfaction throughout one's working life.
  2. We also anticipate that for many people the structure of working life will shift from a traditional three-stage model of education, work and retirement to a more dynamic multi-stage model in which people may change their careers and work-life patterns more frequently. They may therefore be required to upskill and reskill at various stages of life to keep pace with the evolving needs of the labour market.
  3. We will support people's longer careers in line with G20 Policy Priorities towards Active Ageing in Employment (Annex 1), for better quality of employment and greater adaptability of workers.
  4. We will promote sustainable, safe and healthy working environments throughout longer working lives, expand the use of flexible work arrangements for a better quality of life and work, strengthen lifelong learning starting from younger ages for more fulfilling careers, and improve social protection and employment services to support transitions.
  5. Longer and more dynamic working lives call for changes of mindset and behavior on the part of governments, social partners and individuals, including addressing age-based employment practices and stereotypes. We will work with social partners in meeting these challenges so that all stakeholders are better prepared.

New job opportunities in ageing society: For the future of long-term care work

  1. Population ageing generates new job opportunities, with long-term care as one of the sectors expected to grow. We recognize the need to improve the quality of these jobs.
  2. Many G20 countries already face labour shortages in long-term care, in particular due to the increased demand caused by population ageing.
  3. Among the challenges to be addressed are the major care-giving roles played by unpaid family members and workers, mainly women and migrants, who often work in informal work. Poor working conditions, lack of basic workers' rights, and lack of training, career progression and professionalization are often associated with the care sector. In addition, heavy physical, psychological and mental stress pose particular challenges to family care- givers and workers in this sector.
  4. We emphasize that better quality employment in long-term care leads to positive outcomes for care recipients, care workers and family care-givers. It can also contribute to gender equality by decreasing the gender gap in unpaid care work, and promote decent work and economic growth.
  5. We recognize that we can increase quality employment in this sector by promoting investment in the care economy in accordance with national circumstances.
  6. We agree that enhancing the quality of long-term care employment requires formalization; improvements in working conditions including wages, working hours, safety and health, and social protection; protection from violence and harassment; and promotion of social dialogue. In addition, we recognize the importance of promoting opportunities for training, professionalization and better career progression. These measures will also make the long-term care sector more attractive to a broader range of job seekers, including men and young people.
  7. Innovative technologies can greatly improve the productivity and working conditions of long-term care workers. We will promote the utilization of technologies in long-term care settings in accordance with national circumstances.
  8. We will address challenges in long-term care, particularly by sharing experiences and good practices to improve the quality of employment in long-term care in line with the G20 Policy Priorities towards Active Ageing in Employment (Annex 1).

Gender equality

  1. Gender equality is essential for fair, inclusive and sustainable growth. Since the commitment was made by our Leaders in Brisbane to reduce the gender gap in the labour force participation rate between men and women by 25 per cent by 2025, we have been taking actions and monitoring progress towards the goal. In 2018, further progress was made in most G20 countries, but more needs to be done.
  2. Our Leaders agreed in Osaka to exchange our respective progress and actions taken in the G20 towards the Brisbane Goal, including the quality of women's employment, on the basis of the annual progress report prepared by the ILO and OECD. We call on the ILO and OECD to continue their analysis of the progress made and policies implemented, based on the annual reporting in our G20 Employment Plans.
  3. Women spend far more time in unpaid care work than men. When paid work is added on, they work longer hours than men. We recognize that the gender gap in unpaid care work remains a major obstacle to women's participation in the labour market and a driver of gender inequalities.
  4. We encourage a more balanced share of household and care responsibilities, including men's take-up of family-related leave. We will work together with relevant Ministers and other stakeholders to tackle gender stereotypes that may limit opportunities for women in the world of work.
  5. Policies and practices in the world of work need to be adjusted to support greater work- life balance and gender equality. In accordance with national circumstances and with social partners' involvement, we will work towards reducing the prevalence of long working hours, promoting appropriate time and place flexibility for men and women without affecting career development, and fostering good-quality part-time work.
  6. We will invest, according to national circumstances, in childcare and long-term care to increase the provision of quality care services.
  7. We recognize the need for timely and comparable data to advance women's empowerment. Building on G20 Policy Recommendations to Reduce Gender Gaps in Labour Force Participation and Pay by Improving Women's Job Quality (2017 Bad Neuenahr), we will continue our efforts to promote gender equality in the labour market, including by encouraging employers, where appropriate, to increase transparency with respect to gender equality performance.
  8. We reaffirm the importance of taking measures to eradicate all gender-based violence and harassment. We acknowledge the contribution to gender equality of the Convention on the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work adopted by the Centenary International Labour Conference.

New forms of work

  1. New forms of work, particularly those driven by new technology, can remove barriers to work, provide important sources of employment and income, and present opportunities to make our economies more inclusive. On the other hand, they can raise concerns over poor working conditions, inadequate social protection, restrictions to social dialogue and collective bargaining, respect for workers' rights, and the promotion of decent work. In particular, internationally dispersed digital platform work adds difficulties in effective protection of workers.
  2. Despite differing national circumstances, policy directions in response to new forms of work are similar among G20 members: correct classification of workers, extending workers' rights, and promoting social protection and lifelong learning opportunities.
  3. In order to tackle these challenges and maximize the opportunities of new forms of work, we will strengthen the evidence base and continue to exchange our experiences and good practices in consultation with social partners and with the support of the International Organizations. Mindful of wider policy developments in the digital economy, we will also consider possible international responses consistent with fundamental principles and rights at work.

Way forward

  1. We will continue to further develop and implement our G20 Employment Plans, which include reporting on actions regarding adaptation to demographic change.
  2. We will continue our cooperation with other G20 work streams, including in women's empowerment and gender equality.
  3. We remain committed to promoting decent work for sustainable global supply chains and reaffirm our commitment to eradicate child labour, forced labour, human trafficking and modern slavery in the world of work. In this regard, we thank the International Organizations for their useful report which we requested under the German G20 Presidency. We will continue to review our progress while welcoming the United Nations General Assembly's unanimous adoption of a resolution declaring 2021 as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour.
  4. We note with satisfaction the progress in the activities of the G20 Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Experts Network as well as the Entrepreneurship Research Center on G20 Economies, and look forward to their continued contribution. We ask the G20 OSH Experts Network to consider methods of improving workers' mental and physical occupational safety and health to support longer working lives, and of promoting safe and healthy workplaces in new forms of work.
  5. We recognize the importance of social dialogue and appreciate the contribution of the L20 and B20 in the G20 process. We also welcome the dialogue held with engagement groups, in particular W20.
  6. We appreciate the expertise provided by the ILO, OECD, WBG and IMF for the Employment Working Group and our meeting and take note of their reports (Annex 2). We will continue our fruitful cooperation with them.
  7. We thank the Japanese Presidency for its leadership and look forward to our next meeting in 2020 under the Presidency of Saudi Arabia.

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Annex 1

We have identified a range of policy priorities to be considered, in accordance with our national circumstances, in order to promote inclusive labour markets for older workers, to better adapt to longer working lives, and to harness new job opportunities in the silver economy, particularly in the long-term care sector. We recognize the importance of social dialogue in designing and implementing these policies.

Part 1
Adapting to demographic change and longer working lives

i. Enable and encourage workers to choose longer careers

  1. Encourage longer careers in accordance with the worker's choice and ability by promoting flexible retirement transitions, including phased retirement and a better balance between work and personal interests and responsibilities.
  2. Promote the worker's choice to continue working at an older age by enabling and encouraging later and more flexible retirement as appropriate in pension systems, and by allowing the combination of pension and work income, while ensuring the adequacy and sustainability of pension benefits.

ii. Encourage employers to retain and hire older workers

  1. Eliminate age discrimination in recruitment, promotion, training, and employment retention through measures such as anti-discrimination legislation and public awareness campaigns to challenge stereotypes.
  2. Encourage the review of company and industry employment, pay and retirement practices, as appropriate, to remove barriers to hiring and retention of older workers.
  3. Take effective measures to ensure compliance with anti-discrimination and retirement legislation.
  4. Encourage best practices in diversity management such as adjustment of work responsibilities, work environment and working hours to suit the physical capabilities, health, family and other responsibilities of individual workers.
  5. Encourage sharing of knowledge and experience between different age groups, such as transfers of skills from older workers to younger workers.
  6. Recognize experience developed during long working life by older workers.

iii. Enhance workers' employability throughout their working lives

  1. Promote access to lifelong learning through education and training to enhance employability at older working ages (life cycle approach).
  2. Invest in lifelong learning systems, based on shared responsibilities among individuals, enterprises, governments and social partners.
  3. Extend and diversify lifelong learning opportunities with an emphasis on mid-career and late-career learning, including opportunities to adjust to technological change.
  4. Increase access to education and training, including work-based learning, particularly for older workers and workers in certain forms of employment such as part-time work, temporary employment, and third-party agency work.
  5. Promote vocational training and skills development, including reskilling workers and fostering digital and entrepreneurship skills.
  6. Provide workers with career guidance and information on skill needs throughout their careers.
  7. Encourage employers to enable worker learning by reducing the prevalence of long working hours and promoting appropriate flexible work arrangements.
  8. Provide incentives for individuals and enterprises to participate in and provide learning opportunities.
  9. Recognize and certify relevant prior learning.
  10. Promote investing in early education to decrease initial inequalities.

iv. Support career transitions

  1. Provide effective employment services, occupational information, and support for entrepreneurship for all workers regardless of age, with special emphasis on older workers with higher risk of long-term unemployment.
  2. Assist older job seekers to re-enter labour markets by providing training, counselling, job placement and support for entrepreneurship.
  3. For workers in industries or regions facing significant change, support effective early interventions to improve job-to-job transition.
  4. Promote adequate social protection coverage.
  5. Promote the portability of social security benefits.

v. Ensure sustainable, safe and healthy working environments throughout longer working lives

  1. Promote mental and physical occupational safety and health.
  2. Encourage preventive and promotional measures in workers' health management adapted to changes in workers' health in the course of their working lives.
  3. Take steps to reduce the prevalence of long working hours and ensure adequate rest days, including through addressing companies' cultures and practices.
  4. Prevent and protect individuals from all forms of violence and harassment in the world of work.

vi. Greater use of appropriate flexible work arrangements for a better work-life balance

  1. Encourage the use of work arrangements with appropriate time and place flexibility.
  2. Encourage flexible adjustment of work responsibilities and working hours in order to adapt to changes in private life, including family responsibilities.
  3. Use advanced technologies to promote and support flexible working.
  4. Ensure fair treatment of workers with different contractual and working hour arrangements, including equal pay for equal work.

Part 2
New job opportunities in an ageing society
-For the future of long-term care work-

vii. Work towards better care policies and invest in the care economy

  1. Collect data on all forms of long-term care and recognize who provides care.
  2. Work towards better long-term care policies, invest in more and better quality long-term care services, and decrease informal and unpaid care work.

viii. Ensure decent working conditions and social protection coverage and promote formalization

  1. Promote the formalization of long-term care workers and the extension of social protection by appropriate measures, in particular through labour inspection.
  2. Protect fundamental principles and rights at work for long-term care workers.
  3. Prevent violence and harassment against long-term care workers, paying attention to persons belonging to one or more vulnerable groups and those in situations of vulnerability.
  4. Improve working conditions, including wages, hours of work, hours of rest, and holidays, for long-term care workers by effective enforcement of labour laws.
  5. Promote preventative safety and health management and improve safety and health in the workplace, paying attention to physical, psychological and mental stress on care workers.
  6. Promote social dialogue for the protection of long-term care workers.

ix. Promote human capital and career development for long-term care workers

  1. Encourage and support employers to improve the working conditions of long-term care workers.
  2. Promote the professionalization of long-term care work and develop human resources with adequate skills, including through standards and qualifications for the long-term care professions.
  3. Identify skills and career paths for long-term care workers and provide opportunities for skills development.
  4. Attract a more diverse workforce, including young people and men, to the long-term care sector by improving working conditions and public image.

x. Use technology to improve working conditions and labour productivity

  1. Enhance the work of long-term care workers by facilitating the development of assistive nursing care robots and other innovative equipment.
  2. Support the introduction and adaptation of technologies to long-term care facilities, including through the international exchange of best practices.
  3. Encourage the development and introduction of technological solutions that meet the needs of workers and actual care processes by seeking inputs from long-term care workers.
  4. Encourage employers to provide adequate training of long-term care workers on the use of such devices.

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Annex 2: List of Reports prepared by International Organizations

We welcome the following reports prepared for the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers' Meeting and Meetings of the Employment Working Group.

OECD, Adapting to Demographic Change
ILO, Supporting longer working lives: Multistage approaches for decent and productive work
ILO and OECD, New job opportunities in an ageing society

ILO and OECD, Women at Work in G20 countries: Progress and policy action
ILO and OECD, Gender equality in the G20 – Additional analysis from the time dimension

OECD, Policy responses to new forms of work
ILO, Policy responses to new forms of work: International governance of digital labour platforms

ILO, OECD, IOM and UNICEF, Ending child labour, forced labour and human trafficking in global supply chains

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Source: Official website of the Japan's G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting


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