The world of work cannot and should not be the same as before the crisis caused by the coronavirus

19 June 2020
UN and Secretary General

The head of the United Nations fights for a sustainable and human-centered recovery, calls to avoid further job losses and calls for workplaces to be safe and respect the rights of women and vulnerable populations. “The world of work cannot and should not be the same as before the crisis,” says António Guterres.

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned labor markets “upside down”, causing the loss of hundreds of millions of jobssaid this Friday the Secretary General of the United Nations on the occasion of the publication of the policy report on COVID-19 and the world of work.

“This crisis in the world of work is throwing fuel for the fire of discontent and anguish. Unemployment and loss of income on a large scale due to COVID-19 are further eroding social cohesion and destabilizing countries and regions, from a social, political and economic point of view, ”said António Guterres in a video message.

According to the report, the measures taken to mitigate the health emergency will have resulted in 305 million fewer full-time jobs by the end of the second quarter of 2020, while 38% of the workforce – some 1.25 billion workers – hold jobs in high-risk sectors.

The effect of these events has varied according to population groups and countries, depending on the levels of inequality and the responses of governments.

The most vulnerable population groups are at risk of increasing fragility and poor countries and communities could be further behind.

The long-term impact of this crisis increases the dissatisfaction and anxiety already prevailing in the world of work due to the growing inequities exacerbated by the globalization of the economy, which had promised to benefit the entire population.

The study notes that the crisis has revealed the high degree of interdependence of economies and labor markets and that, for this reason, globalization must be redefined so that it fosters a more inclusive and sustainable world for all.

The Secretary General considers whether to adopt smart and timely action at all levels and the Sustainable Development Goals are taken as a guide, humanity will be able to emerge from the crisis strengthened, with better jobs and a better, more equitable and ecological future.

Three fronts

In this sense, the report and the UN leader cited three fronts for action:

  1. Immediate protection to workers, businesses, jobs and incomes at risk to avoid closures, job losses and reduced resources
  2. Pay attention to both health and economic activity once confinement is relaxed so that workplaces are safe and the rights of women and populations at risk are respected
  3. Launch an inclusive, ecological, sustainable and human-centered recoveryharnessing the potential of new technologies and creating decent jobs for all, as well as taking advantage of the creative ways in which companies and workers have adapted to the emergency

“New normal”

Guterres pointed out that although there is talk of a “new normal”, the world was already far from normal before the pandemic and advocated changing that model.

“The pandemic has revealed enormous deficiencies, fragility and cracks. The world of work cannot and should not be the same as before the crisis, ”he emphasized.

He recalled that before the crisis, the world witnessed increasingly pronounced inequalities, systemic gender discrimination, lack of opportunities for youth, stagnant wages and out-of-control climate change.

The Secretary General called for actions orchestrated at the global, regional and national levels to put the world of work on a fairer and more resilient path and proposed, as a possible measure, taxing carbon emissions instead of wages.

The report, for its part, stated that going back to the past is not an option. “The level of change and transformation that is needed to rebuild the world economy goes beyond rebuilding the same in a better way ”, he points out.

Finally, the study explains that the need to create jobs and livelihoods for millions of people requires a balance between socioeconomic and economic systems, with greater investment in the protection of people and in a greener economy with gender equality.

19 June 2020
UN and Secretary General

The head of the United Nations fights for a sustainable and human-centered recovery, calls to avoid further job losses and calls for workplaces to be safe and respect the rights of women and vulnerable populations. “The world of work cannot and should not be the same as before the crisis,” says António Guterres.

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned labor markets “upside down”, causing the loss of hundreds of millions of jobssaid this Friday the Secretary General of the United Nations on the occasion of the publication of the policy report on COVID-19 and the world of work.

“This crisis in the world of work is throwing fuel for the fire of discontent and anguish. Unemployment and loss of income on a large scale due to COVID-19 are further eroding social cohesion and destabilizing countries and regions, from a social, political and economic point of view, ”said António Guterres in a video message.

According to the report, the measures taken to mitigate the health emergency will have resulted in 305 million fewer full-time jobs by the end of the second quarter of 2020, while 38% of the workforce – some 1.25 billion workers – hold jobs in high-risk sectors.

The effect of these events has varied according to population groups and countries, depending on the levels of inequality and the responses of governments.

The most vulnerable population groups are at risk of increasing fragility and poor countries and communities could be further behind.

The long-term impact of this crisis increases the dissatisfaction and anxiety already prevailing in the world of work due to the growing inequities exacerbated by the globalization of the economy, which had promised to benefit the entire population.

The study notes that the crisis has revealed the high degree of interdependence of economies and labor markets and that, for this reason, globalization must be redefined so that it fosters a more inclusive and sustainable world for all.

The Secretary General considers whether to adopt smart and timely action at all levels and the Sustainable Development Goals are taken as a guide, humanity will be able to emerge from the crisis strengthened, with better jobs and a better, more equitable and ecological future.

Three fronts

In this sense, the report and the UN leader cited three fronts for action:

  1. Immediate protection to workers, businesses, jobs and incomes at risk to avoid closures, job losses and reduced resources
  2. Pay attention to both health and economic activity once confinement is relaxed so that workplaces are safe and the rights of women and populations at risk are respected
  3. Launch an inclusive, ecological, sustainable and human-centered recoveryharnessing the potential of new technologies and creating decent jobs for all, as well as taking advantage of the creative ways in which companies and workers have adapted to the emergency

“New normal”

Guterres pointed out that although there is talk of a “new normal”, the world was already far from normal before the pandemic and advocated changing that model.

“The pandemic has revealed enormous deficiencies, fragility and cracks. The world of work cannot and should not be the same as before the crisis, ”he emphasized.

He recalled that before the crisis, the world witnessed increasingly pronounced inequalities, systemic gender discrimination, lack of opportunities for youth, stagnant wages and out-of-control climate change.

The Secretary General called for actions orchestrated at the global, regional and national levels to put the world of work on a fairer and more resilient path and proposed, as a possible measure, taxing carbon emissions instead of wages.

The report, for its part, stated that going back to the past is not an option. “The level of change and transformation that is needed to rebuild the world economy goes beyond rebuilding the same in a better way ”, he points out.

Finally, the study explains that the need to create jobs and livelihoods for millions of people requires a balance between socioeconomic and economic systems, with greater investment in the protection of people and in a greener economy with gender equality.