The ILO’s Global Commission on the Future of Work finds that, with decisive action, there are “countless opportunities” to close the gender gap, improve the quality of working lives, expand choice and reverse damages from global inequality.
The report makes recommendations focused on increasing investment in people’s capabilities, the institution of work, and decent and sustainable work and on taking responsibility.
The ILO's 100th anniversary will be marked at the UN on 10 April 2019.
22 January 2019: The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Global Commission on the Future of Work released a report on its findings along with ten recommendations for achieving a future of work that provides decent, sustainable work opportunities for all. ILO launched the report during celebrations marking the start of its 100th anniversary.
The report titled, ‘Work for a brighter future,’ is the product of the 27-member Global Commission’s 15-month examination on the future of work. President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa and Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven co-chair the Commission, which organized its work around four ILO “centenary conversations”: work and society; decent jobs for all; the organization of work and production; and the governance of work.
The Commission finds that, with decisive action, there are “countless opportunities” to close the gender gap, improve the quality of working lives, expand choice and reverse damages from global inequality. On future jobs, the report finds that technological advances from artificial intelligence, automation and robotics, along with economic greening, have the potential to create employment for millions of people.
In the report, the Commission calls for a global, collective response to “harness the shift for the good,” underscoring that, without decisive action, the world will experience widening inequalities and uncertainties. The report makes recommendations focused on increasing investment in people’s capabilities, the institution of work, and decent and sustainable work and taking responsibility, including recommendations related to reinvigorating the social contract, the ILO’s responsibilities and the responsibilities of the multilateral system.
The report recommends: a universal labor guarantee that protects fundamental workers’ rights, a living wage, limits on hours of work, and safe and healthy workplaces; guaranteed social protection that supports people’s needs over the lifecycle; a universal entitlement to lifelong learning that enables people to skill, reskill and upskill; managing technological change to boost decent work, including a governance system for digital labor platforms; and encouraging long-term investments through reshaping business incentives. The report further recommends increased investments in the care, green and rural economies and a transformative and measurable agenda for gender equality.
Women continue to have to adjust to a world of work shaped by men for men.
On gender equality, the Commission’s report states that structural barriers “still need to be overcome,” observing that “women continue to have to adjust to a world of work shaped by men for men.” The Commission recommends adopting policies that promote the equal sharing of care and domestic responsibilities, including increased investment in public care services to ensure a balanced division of care work, both between men and women and between the State and the family. The report makes additional recommendations related to strengthening women’s leadership and participation in decision-making.
On the green economy, the report recognizes that climate change will have both disruptive and transformative effects on work and economies and calls for countries to prioritize investments in “decent and sustainable work” that supports human development and protects the planet, in line with SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth). The report argues that increased investment in the green economy can advance an inclusive future of work, explaining that environmental degradation disproportionately affects low-income countries and vulnerable populations.
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder stressed the importance of the issues in the report for people everywhere and for the planet. He emphasized that while the issues are challenging, “we ignore them at our peril.” The report highlights the ILO’s unique role in delivering on this agenda, including through scaling up its activities to include those who have been excluded from decent work and social justice. The report also underscores the importance of committed action by governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations to “reinvigorate the social contract” with working people.
The ILO is celebrating its centenary in 2019 with the launch of a global campaign that aims to connect the ILO’s impacts with a broad public audience. The global campaign is focusing around 25 “world of work” topics, including artificial intelligence (AI), child labor, climate change and employment. In connection with this campaign, the ILO launched a centenary website that shares the journey of the ILO’s past, present and future. ILO will release new chapters of the story each week through 13 March.
On 15 January 2019 the UN General Assembly adopted a consensus resolution (document A/73/L.73) deciding to commemorate the ILO’s 100th anniversary on 10 April 2019, under the theme ‘the future of work.’ The event will include addresses by the ILO Director-General, the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the President of the International Organization of Employers and a youth representative. [UN News Story] [ILO Press Release on Launch] [ILO Press Release on Report] [Publication: Work for a brighter future] [Global Commission Webpage] [ILO Centenary Website] [ILO Global Campaign]