Blog and news
November 23, 2020

Minister for Employment welcomes new All Party Parliamentary Group on the Future of Work

The All Party Parliamentary Group on the Future of Work has been welcomed by Mims Davies MP, Minister for Employment, and by parties across the House.

Thanking IFOW for their work, Kirsten Oswald MP, SNP Spokesperson for Work said, in a Westminster Hall debate on the future of work:

"A recent report by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Task Force on Work of the Future mirrors the findings of the UK’s Future of Work Commission. Both reports highlight that technological change is not eliminating work; it is replacing existing work and creating new work. More importantly, it is changing the quality of jobs and access to them, driving new forms of polarisation and work inequality….We must look at creating a real baseline of fairness below which people do not fall, whether they are in work, education or employment, or are temporarily or permanently displaced from the workforce. The Future of Work Commission argues that the purpose of work is to support health and wellbeing, and to enable individuals to flourish. Economic policy should reflect that goal"

Kirsten Oswald highlighted IFOW proposal for an Accountability for Algorithms Act :

"Case studies and analysis by the Institute for the Future of Work highlight imbalances in information, wealth and power that come from emerging global platforms. They demonstrate that our legal framework has not kept pace with the new automated technologies, with their use of algorithmic and artificial intelligence-based decision-assisting tools…. We need a fresh approach if we are to ensure that historical inequalities are not projected into the future. That's is why I support the call for a new accountability for algorithms Act"

Seema Malhotra MP, Shadow Minister for Employment said:

"How we embrace and shape the technology and changes of the future is down to the choices that we make... The future of work - a resilient, inclusive future, with good work for all - is critical as we think about how we build back better. The theme is now international, reflected in recent reports on the future of work published by the World Economic Forum, the International Labour Organisation, the OECD, the RSA and, of course, the Institute for the Future of Work, which I thank for its work supporting the APPG and its briefing in advance of this debate. Many of these debates look at the acceleration of changes in workforce practices, including the advent of automation and AI.

As change comes, however, we must lead rather than lag. There is a need to review concerns around workers’ rights and protections as labour market structures change, and issues around the future of good work and of workplaces post Covid must be matters for debate and policy"

Mims Davies, Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said:

'I am determined that those who were struggling to progress before the pandemic hit—who were perhaps locked out of the labour market before that, despite the record employment—are not left behind. Our focus as a Department and a Government is to build back greener and stronger. That will be powered by technology and skills; by matching retraining with new jobs to secure a better future; and vitally, as we have heard, by connecting communities with all opportunities so that we can level up our economy by ensuring that our labour market thrives throughout the UK.'



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