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.
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.
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. Main issues for the industry are how digitalisation impacts the skills needed for working in a digital workplace, the way work can be done and the way businesses and workers can be connected for the sake of work. Therefore, the Social Innovation agenda promoted by the World Employment Confederation aims to ensure that working, learning and social protection systems are reformed to accommodate the evolution that digitalisation allows or requires.
Secondly, along with the most prominent labour experts around the world, the World Employment Confederation insists on the compliant classification of forms of work as a crucial element in securing quality work through digitalisation.
Finally, digital and online technologies provide great opportunities to promote inclusive labour markets and protect personal data. 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.