Employment is a critical feature of modern society. The nature of employment determines not only the operation of the economy and economic and business prosperity but also determines the quality of individuals’ lives. In that respect, work is both an economic transaction and central to human life and dignity. Critically, it is also an important standard by which civil society may be measured and the viability of a democracy judged.
There has been a seismic shift in employment as it manifests itself in twenty first century Western economies. Expectations of stable, lifetime employment have substantially diminished. There is a rapid growth of non-standard forms of employment, as well as the emergence of fragmented organisational forms. Regulatory systems based upon the previous employment models have become increasingly unstable.
This paper examined the implications of these changes for Western societies and their workforces and discussed the need for and sources of moderation.
This event was co-hosted with the Oxford Martin School Human Rights for Future Generations Programme.