Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 29/10/2019

Future of Work: EU promoting ILO Centenary Declaration

The EU has set out guidelines to implement the ILO (International Labour Organization) Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work in Member States, promoting a human-centred approach to work.

On 24 October 2019 the Council of the EU adopted the conclusions to implement the ILO's Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work, which promotes a human-centred approach to the future of work. This follows the active role the EU played in promoting its adoption at the International Labour Conference.

The conclusions encourage Member States to continue their efforts to ratify and effectively implement ILO Conventions and to step up efforts to promote Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to decent work. In this context the EU supports efforts to formally recognise safe and healthy working conditions as fundamental rights at work.

Many issues covered by the Council conclusions resonate with the European Pillar of Social Rights, which include:

  • enhanced labour and social protection
  • minimum wage
  • life-long learning and support through transitions
  • equal opportunities
  • work-life balance
  • solidarity
  • and care economy

The conclusions also touch upon the EU’s work to do, as regards addressing decent work challenges in the new forms of work and new business models, as well as strengthening the institutions of work.

As Marianne Thyssen, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: "The Declaration and the Council Conclusions set a human-centred approach to the future of work that is fundamental for sustainable development both in Europe and in the world….So we have our work cut out, both at national and European level."


This year marks the 100 years’ anniversary of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) created in 1919 on a mandate of social justice and the first UN agency.

The ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work provides guidelines for a human-centered approach to the future of work with international initiatives and cooperation. These are intended to

  • promote a just transition to an environmentally sustainable future of work
  • promote skills and support job transitions throughout people's working lives
  • implement a transformative agenda to achieve gender equality at work
  • establish safe and healthy working conditions as fundamental rights
  • provide universal access to social protection, adequate minimum wage and other labour protection to all workers

The Declaration also supports the contribution of social dialogue to support social justice, the role of trade and industrial policies in promoting decent work, as well as ILO's important role in making policy more coherent to make the future of work more human-centred. The EU and Member States played a key role in negotiations for the Declaration, and helped find common ground on several topics.

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