Published on 26th July 2018
With a more diverse and mobile workforce, employment relations are changing and call for the new world of work to establish different governance and social norms. How to operate this transition in a sustainable manner was the question that ILERA – the international scientific organization studying labour and employment – choose to focus on at its 2018 world congress.
For the World Employment Confederation, one way to make future labour markets sustainable is to ensure that people’s rights are maintained as they move across jobs, sectors or contractual arrangements. And the private employment sector is already moving forward through social dialogue initiatives as Global Public Affairs Manager Jochem de Boer presented at the ILERA Congress. Based on a research paper he wrote together with a former research trainee, Tommaso Grossi, he described the bipartite funds that WEC’s members have established for agency workers, resulting in a set of “portable rights” that are maintained as they change jobs.
“It is very valuable to have the chance to present the business perspective and to showcase the concrete solutions that our sector is implementing to future-proof social security systems and adapt labour markets to more diverse forms of work,” says Jochem de Boer. “At the World Employment Confederation, we are convinced that the future of work cannot happen without social innovation. We are looking forward for more of these opportunities to further promote the ideas we have outlined in the Manifesto we adopted in 2017.”
The International Labour & Employment Relations Association (ILERA) is a subsidiary of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and is set up to study labour and employment relations developments. Apart from various regional conferences, ILERA organises a world congress every three years. During these conferences central issues are discussed next to an elaborate plenary programme highlighting and discussing academic papers. This year, the congress was held in Seoul, Korea, from 23 to 27 June and celebrated the 50th anniversary of the organisation.
Sharing practices and experience with Korean members
Travelling to Korea was also an opportunity for the WEC to better understand the national labour market by meeting local members such as the KOHRSIA federation and Manpower. “The labour market of Korea is confronted with harsh reform that threaten the ability of Korean firms to contract an external workforce which will – and has already – hit the Korean employment industry. We discussed with our members how we can support them in alleviating those impacts,” explained Jochem de Boer, before concluding: “Korea scores poorly on labour market inclusiveness, with significant gaps between the lowest and highest wages and gender inequality. There are also large differences in social security coverage, rights, wages and benefits between different forms of employment contracts. These are all topics where we can work with our members to encourage discussions around the future of work and improved labour markets in Korea”.