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Command-and-Control gives way to Individualism

The peak industry body for the recruitment and employment services sector in Australia and New Zealand has welcomed a report by the World Employment Confederation (W.E.C.) that calls on the Government to further promote diversity of labour arrangements in order to increase labour market participation and inclusion. Commenting on the Future of Work Whitepaper, CEO of the Recruitment & Consulting Services Association (RCSA) Charles Cameron, noted the future of work will be increasingly both interconnected and individualised, as portfolio workers uncouple job and work, and seek a variety of jobs that meet their individual, as well as other needs.

“The notion that flexible and part-time work is an inferior form of work is completely out of touch in modern Australia, and does not reflect the desire of workers to take more control over their work and balance work with life’s other priorities. It is, however, also imperative that we get the balance right between flexibility and responsibility in order to encourage responsible employment practices,” said Mr Cameron. “Australia is today less insulated from the influences of a global labour market, and changes in the global landscape, than it was when our existing work law framework was established. This requires a more adaptive approach to regulation that preserves a social safety net but also encourages employment and new work arrangements.”

“Unlike during the 1960’s when work was shaped by command and control principles, the new world of work will be characterised by a growth in independent work that will provide employers and workers the opportunity to balance their workforce and work with demand,” said Mr Cameron. The Future of Work Whitepaper makes a number of policy recommendations for Governments, which include:

1. Modernising employment regulation to reflect the changing nature of work, and the rise of on-line workers, and to clarify and make transparent the rights and responsibilities of both providers and consumers. 2. Ensure a level and consistent playing field between labour market intermediaries and on-line talent platforms and new entrants to the labour services marketplace. 3. Modernise the social safety net to reflect the diversity of labour arrangements, and to provide support that is adaptable to the needs of workers at different points in their working lives. 4. Facilitate access to work in order to combat unemployment and underemployment through promoting active labour market policies. This includes the monitoring of labour markets to maintain a workers ‘employability’ throughout their working life. 5. Cooperation between public and private employment services should be encouraged to more efficiently connect job seekers with job opportunities. 6. Less red tape and more red carpet for entrepreneurship to encourage new businesses and new and adaptable forms of work.

The labour market today transcends borders and boundaries, and requires a new approach to policies and regulation. While 61% of companies around the world experience difficulty recruiting staff, over 70% of HR manager’s report a scarcity of skills is the biggest drag on growth and productivity.

The Future of Work Whitepaper recommends that Governments adopt a ‘glocal’ approach to regulation and policy if they wish to remain competitive in a global market for skills and labour.

“The Future of Work has arrived and the recruitment and employment services industry is at the forefront of the shifts taking place in the world of work,” said Mr Cameron.

The Australian labour market ranks fifth on the World Employment Confederation’s Smart Regulation Index – 2016, which ranks countries that employ smart labour market regulation along with job creation, participation and inclusion in the workforce and record lower levels of youth unemployment.

It also ranks in the top 10 on the OECD’s ‘How Good is Your Job’ which measures the features of job quality that affect well-being and considers Earnings Quality, Labour Market Security and the Quality of the Working Environment. “The Australian labour market is performing quite well in terms of these rankings, which reflect current conditions. We are hugely optimistic about the Future of Work as our industry evolves from providing candidates and filling jobs, to creating workforce solutions that are among the best in the world,” said Mr Cameron.

RCSA is a member of the World Employment Confederation. RCSA CEO Charles Cameron sits on the Executive Committee of W.E.C. as its Quality Standards and Compliance Officer, and is responsible for guiding the quality standards and compliance for the recruitment and employment services industry.

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