Why do we work and how does work give us meaning? How can European values of justice, dignity and solidarity be realised in a changing world? To what extent might longstanding governance frameworks, such as social security systems and employment laws, require updating?
Held on 5 February 2018, the EGE (European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies) Open Round Table brought together a wide range of stakeholders from all sectors of society, including academic experts, international organisations, industry, trade unions and NGOs. Amana Ferro (EAPN Senior Policy Officer) presented EAPN’s key messages:
- Better research on new ways of work, taking account of social, societal, cultural, health, and distributional changes – go beyond quantitative data to understand real impact on people’s lives.
- Step up quality of work and of contractual arrangements, stemming the proliferation of insecure, unstable forms of employment, including self-employment and contractors, atypical, zero-hour, mini-jobs, involuntary part-time and short-term.
- Invest in comprehensive, adequate social protection for all, as an essential prerequisite for combatting poverty and social exclusion, protecting all against risks throughout the lifecycle, at levels allowing for lives in dignity.
- End punitive activation pushing people into unsustainable jobs, curbing punitive approaches, marred by conditionality and sanctions, and favouring positive, integrated pathways to employment, in line with the Active Inclusion strategy.
- Tackle the digital divide & improve life-long learning, improving efforts on digital inclusion, especially for those experiencing poverty and the low-skilled, so they are not left behind by the technological revolution, including in accessing goods and services.
- Bet on social and civil dialogue for evidence-based policy solutions, as civil society organisations working with the unemployed, the self-employed, and those experiencing poverty and exclusion are a powerful ally, alongside trade unions.