The labor market is undergoing a transformation process never seen before. It has gone from robotization to total digitization of the economy, which is giving rise to a new work model between company and worker. But this change cannot mean that the economy is based on the “remuneration devaluation” of work and its “degradation”, as argued by the Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, during her presentation at the conference organized by the Association of Journalists of Economic Information (APIE).
The Labor Minister assures that Spain has “wrong policies” based on fear, while Funcas sees the need for the “re-founding” of the welfare state due to digitization
In her opinion, Spain has experienced two deep crises and “cannot afford to continue maintaining erroneous policies based on fear”, because progress towards a “higher quality” economy is discouraged. She believes that after the pandemic, digitization will not only bring precariousness, but also “decent” jobs with “companies that compete in quality”, not only in costs.
Because the minister placed special emphasis on digital platforms, highlighting the importance of reaching the ‘Riders’ Law because it was a question “of the present and the future.” In addition, she defined as a “legal aberration” the rules by which the platforms wanted to operate outside the labor standards of the countries, but that the “rapid response” by the courts has stopped.
In addition, in terms of digitization, she stressed that remote work requires the involvement of public authorities because “it has opened up new possibilities, but also posed challenges at a time of economic and social regeneration like this one.” In this sense, he indicated that teleworking should not be a “cost reduction formula”: “The pay degradation that has characterized the disastrous period of austerity that occurred during the financial crisis cannot continue to characterize the way we understand our companies and our labor relations, “said the minister, who stressed that the costs associated with production cannot be borne by the worker.
Faced with the new context of digitization, the director of Situation and Analysis of Funcas, Raymond Torres, explained during the same day that in the previous phase of economic development it was not possible to clearly differentiate between some workers and others, but that now the connection with the digital platform allows a “total individualization of work” and accurately measure the contribution and productivity of each employee.
In his opinion, in this context, the sectors that have the most opportunities for the future are those that revolve around interpersonal relationships, such as care, health and education. “The advantage is the interpersonal relationship with the client, the proximity of demand,” reveals Torres, who in turn indicates that leisure and culture will also have a great future.
Due to the paradigm shift, the “re-founding of the welfare state” is essential. Raymond Torres assured during his presentation at the University of Alcalá de Henares that the current system has made it possible to develop this protection mechanism with opportunities for all, but with digitization “those instruments are no longer valid.” Nobody knows what jobs we will have tomorrow and half of the tasks we develop today will not exist in 15 years, he argues. For this reason, he considers “key” the adaptability of employee training programs and that this education does not rest only in the first years of life.
But in his opinion there is no need to fear this digitization process, because it also means many new opportunities. In recent years, 30 to 40 million net jobs have been created in the world despite (or thanks to) digitization. In fact, in this coronavirus crisis, it has allowed thousands of jobs to be maintained thanks to technology – mainly teleworking. Torres assures that without the technology, 10% more jobs would have been lost in developed countries this last year. “Unemployment rates have barely increased with the crisis, something that no body had anticipated. In Spain it has only risen two points, compared to the collapse of 11% of GDP, “he explains.