Work is critical to all dimensions of life, for citizens and for society. On an individual basis, it not only provides income but also promotes social integration and personal fulfilment. A key factor for economic productivity and wealth creation, it further contributes to social harmony and stability. It is often said that a decent job is the best form of social security, but how to ensure that anyone can access this kind of job and achieve a sustainable career?
Labour markets worldwide face challenges of an unprecedented scale: high levels of unemployment and underemployment, job fragmentation, persistent high rates of employment in the informal economy, migration, population ageing, and the need for skilled workers. The labour market also faces challenges linked to economic globalization, digitalization, climate change and the environment, health and technology. All these challenges are accelerating the pace of change in the labour market and changing the very nature of work.
Today, careers are more characterized by more frequent job changes, sometimes from one status to another, such as from self-employed to salaried employment, or across different professions, and back and forth from the formal to the informal economy or people working in both at the same time. Transitions are more numerous and periods of employment are often interspersed with periods of unemployment, training, interruptions to raise children, care for parents or take time off, etc. To keep pace with this evolution, public and private employers are increasingly focusing on education, continuous training and skills as the essential foundation on which to build the sustainable employability of the workforce and the quality of careers as well as work-life balance.
In this regard, employment agencies and social security institutions are adjusting their business and administration processes to adapt quickly to new conditions and to be not only reactive but also proactive.
Similar to other ISSA Guidelines for Social Security Administration, the ISSA Guidelines on the Promotion of Sustainable Employment seek to shed light on administrative solutions to address challenges and facilitate exchange of experience and good practices among the ISSA members.