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Minister Kiik: employees must be placed at the heart of future of work

Sotsiaalminister Tanel Kiik ILO peakonverentsil
Minister of Social Affaires Tanel Kiik at the ILO conference. Photo: Rasmus Sinivee

Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik gave speech at the conference of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) saying that people and their work must become the heart of the future labour market. “Although digital change in the forms of work significantly transforms the content of work, and the forms are becoming more flexible, it is still important to stand up for social justice and vigorously resist harassment and violence in the work environment,” said the Minister.

Minister Kiik also highlighted the smart solutions that have already been implemented in Estonia to ensure that employees have fair working conditions and social protection, as well as to ensure equal contribution to it. As an example of a modern form of work, he mentioned the cooperation of ride-sharing platforms with the Tax and Customs Board that allows employees who use new forms of work to easily fulfil the accompanying tax obligations.

He also stressed in his speech the need to ensure equal and sustainable access to social protection for all employees as well as for self-employers. “An employment contract alone cannot be at the heart of social security; the social security systems of the future must emanate from people, regardless of the way they work,” Minister Kiik said.

The Minister added that the digital revolution in the world of work can also lead to occupational safety and health risks, for the prevention of which a digital work information system is being developed in Estonia, helping employees, employers and different agencies to prevent risks arising from the working environment by exchanging information between different databases.

This year, the International Labour Organisation celebrates its 100th anniversary. The main conference has attracted nearly 6,000 delegates representing governments, employers and trade unions. At the meeting, ILO's 100th Anniversary Declaration is planned to be adopted, focusing on the work of the future. The issues of violence and harassment against women and men in the world of work are also addressed.

International Labour Organisation is the only trilateral UN agency established in 1919 which now unites the governments, employers and trade unions of 187 Member States. It aims to establish labour standards, develop policies and programmes that promote decent work for all.



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