Future of Work

Promoting legitimate and safe employment in Hungary

Hungarian government representatives, social partners and researchers discussed how to promote legitimate and safe employment in the context of ILO’s Future of Work initiative.

Press release | 16 December 2016
Budapest (ILO news) – How to create more and better, especially legitimate and safe jobs in the future of work was in the focus of a national seminar organized by the Hungarian Ministry for National Economy and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on 13th of December 2016 in Budapest, Hungary.

Some 40 researchers, academics, worker and employer representatives as well as ILO and Hungarian government officials attended the event, which is related to the “Future of work Initiative ” launched by ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.

ILO Budapest Office Director Antonio Graziosi welcomed the organization of the seminar as an opportunity for the ILO to enhance its policy dialogue with the tripartite constituents of the host country of the ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team and Country Office for Central and Eastern Europe. Since the creation of the ILO office in Budapest in 1993, eleven Central and Eastern European countries have joined the European Union.

This however has not automatically resolved the countries’ employment and labour challenges. Hungary and the other Visegrád countries show better indicators than the EU average in terms of economic growth and unemployment. Still, major issues exist in relation to low wages; gender and other inequalities; skills mismatch; non-standard forms of work; the impact of ageing societies on the labour market and on social security; and the need to implement employment-friendly economic policies.

Against this background, the Future of Work initiative offers a window of opportunity to demonstrate the relevance of the ILO agenda and work to the reality of European countries, also in the context of the current discussion on a new European social pillar.

Ms María Luz Vega Ruiz, ILO Coordinator explained that the Future of Work Initiative was launched by the Director-General of the ILO at the International Labour Conference in June 2015 as part of the preparation for the ILO’s 100th anniversary in 2019.

“This ‘Future of Work’ initiative is for all of you - governments, employers, workers - to look beyond the normal “current” horizons and try to see what it is that is happening in the world of work, to anticipate those processes and - above all - to construct the types of policy responses that will equip all of us, including the ILO, to proceed with this mandate and objective of social justice in radically different circumstances. More than 130 member States have responded positively, giving us high support and a lot of hope to achieve our desired results.” – explained the process Ms María Luz Vega Ruiz.

Dr Krisztián József Járai, Head of Unit, Ministry for National Economy speaking about the European Platform on Tackling Undeclared Work emphasized the importance and effectiveness of preventive approach in tackling undeclared work. The preventive approach focuses on incentives instead of restrictions and penalties to facilitate the transition from informal to formal employment for those employers, who legally employ or declare workers.

Ms Katalin Balogh, National Contact Point for EU OSHA speaking about the EU-OSHA campaigns and activities, emphasized that by 2030, 30 per cent of working women and men will be between ages of 55-64, many of them with chronic diseases. Therefore, keeping the ageing workforce on the labour market is indispensable for a sustainable economy.

A panel discussion was organized on the Future of Work in the afternoon.

Mr Attila István Simon, Deputy Minister of State, Ministry for National Economy emphasized that one of the most important government priorities is to raise awareness on the importance of legitimate and safe employment. Mr Simon also noted that the speed of technological changes is so fast, that lifelong learning is essential for all type of workers, skilled, unskilled, blue or white collar workers, but especially for vulnerable workers, or for workers with disadvantages.
Ms Noémi Csaposs, a representative of a Hungarian employers’ association, said that employers are looking for employees with adaptable, useful and applicable knowledge and skills. Higher and higher gap between skilled and unskilled workforce should be addressed, therefore many companies invest in the education and training of their employees.

Participants in the panel discussion agreed that for a sustainable economy and healthy labour market it is crucial to maintain and safeguard the employability of the workforce, but especially the employability of older workers for as long as possible while they are still on the labour market. For this purpose, knowledge transfer and cooperative learning and working strategies are essential.

ILO representative María Luz Vega Ruiz also emphasized the importance of vocational training which could very effectively address the existing skills mismatch. She added that while care economy is the future of many who might otherwise drop out of the labour market, but care workers would also need dignity and protection. In addition, one of the important future of work is working for the environment, for a more sustainable and greener economy.

Mr Tamás Jankó, a government official mentioned a new programme to develop digital skills for 260,000 people in Hungary. The best prevention of the early drop-out of the labour market is to include digital education and development of digital skills to the school curriculum.

As Ms Vega Ruiz concluded: “The ILO’s main concern is not only the quantity, but rather the quality of jobs: satisfy the aspirations of human beings. Protect the minimum values, the dignity and safety of workers. “

Magyar összefoglaló