Digitalisation is a very broad topic, impacting every aspect of society. In the work sphere, digitalisation allows for new ways of working, delivering services (including employment services), improving worker productivity and increasing health and safety at work.
As such, digital technology and online connectivity can be great drivers for decent work, economic growth and new jobs. These technologies impact how work is carried out, what skills workers need and how personal data is used and protected.
Furthermore, people and businesses often hire workers via online services. This allows for innovation and competition, opens up new ways of working and creates new opportunities for employment. Yet, with growing numbers of people finding work via online services, questions are being raised as to the quality of this work, the compliance and output of the service provider, the relationship between the service provider and the worker and last but not least the compliant classification of the worker.
Like all businesses, private employment services are enhancing and expanding their services through digital means, interfaces and tools. By doing so, new tools become available for businesses and workers to support their labour market needs and aspirations. These innovations in the provision of private employment services improve the contribution of private employment services to a well-functioning labour market.
The World Employment Confederation is committed to ensuring that digitalisation realises its potential to improve decent work and economic growth. To support the delivery of quality online talent platform services, the World Employment Confederation put forward recommendations for policymakers to shape the appropriate framework that leverages platform work to the benefit of all. Reform of safety nets, decent working conditions, fair level-playing field and clear worker classification are amongst the crucial elements needed.
International policy initiatives dealing with the impact of digitalisation on societies and labour markets include the OECD “Going Digital” project and the G20 “AI Principles” adopted in 2019. In the field of technological impact on employment issues, policies are mainly focused on three key topics: skills, online ‘platform work’ and personal data protection.
Digital and online technologies provide great opportunities to promote inclusive labour markets. Yet clear rules, appropriate regulations and a level-playing field are needed. Through its Code of Conduct, the World Employment Confederation and its members are committed to protecting the personal data of workers and jobseekers and fighting labour market discrimination.
In 2023, WEC strenghened that commitment by adopted a set of ethical principles in the use of Artificial Intelligence for its members to abide with. At the core of this code, lies the need to keep the human element centric.
The World Employment Confederation and its members have also informed an OECD’s research on the potential benefits, as well as pitfalls, of using AI in labour market matching through interviews and a roundtable discussion about how AI is used in private employment services.
The World Employment Confederation believes in the potential of cross industry collaboration and blockchain technology to reduce frictions in the process of connecting people with work and to make it a positive and trusted experience for candidates, workers and employers.
WEC’s Corporate Members decided to lay the foundations of common action and work on recommending a common set of worker data that can reside on a block, guidelines/best practices, and use cases for which we – and the candidates and workers -, and others across industry, can utilize this data block to make it easier for people to enter and re-enter the workforce. To further advance this objective, the World Employment Confederation has joined the Velocity Network Foundation, a non-profit consortium aiming to build an ‘Internet of Careers™’.