One of the most powerful drivers of change in the concept and practice of decent work concerns the rapid advances in technology. In recent decades, concepts ranging from Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things to Big Data, online platform based economy, cloud computing, and advanced robotics have percolated in both policy and business circles. Advances in the computing capabilities of machines have the potential to accelerate automation in the workplace and can change the way we view employment and human productivity.
In response to the changes brought about by technology, the International Labour Organization (ILO) commissioned a Report1 examining the viable pathways on how to achieve a better future for all, based mainly on the fundamental principles of decent work. The commissioning of the Report is timely and topical as among the key issues considered by the ILO panel are emerging forms of workplace arrangements, including the rise of non-standard forms of employment, lifelong learning, gender equality and sustainable development, time sovereignty, and the role of universal social protection.
On 29-30 April 2019, the 10 ASEAN Labour Ministers, in a special session at Singapore, recognized the ILO Global Commission’s report and reiterated their support to the Future of Work Centenary Initiative of ILO by responding, as one ASEAN Community, to the report’s recommendations through the issuance of a Ministerial Statement. This statement, aptly called ASEAN Labour Ministers’ Statement on the Future of Work, was strongly supported by the Philippines through the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
From July 2019 to November 2019, the ILS, as the policy research and advocacy arm of DOLE, conducted a series of Future of Work tripartite dialogues with tripartite and other social partners in key sectors of the Philippine labor market. This series of dialogues has its context on the said ILO Report as well as the start of the ILO’s Future of Work Centenary Initiative. In launching one of the country’s first-ever dialogue series on the subject matter, the Institute aims to bring these global and regional discussions to our shores. As the use of technology increases in the workplace, Filipino labor and employers share a common interest in working toward a labor market system that ensure technology is safe, humane, rights-based, and promotes decent work and just transition for all.
Title: Sharing the Discourse on the Future of Decent Work
Researcher: Institute for Labor Studies