Rebuilding Social Dialogue In an Era of Change

Rebuilding Social Dialogue In an Era of Change
Seren Özdemir
Consultant Intern

Rebuilding Social Dialogue in an era of Change
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The crises we have faced over the past few years have resulted in tremendous shifts in the economic, social, and political environment, yet they have become the main drivers of change on a global scale. To tackle the crises, creating new policies urgently and a more holistic approach becomes a necessity.

Climate change and natural catastrophes have already been a necessity for transitioning green and low-carbon economies. Automation and digitalization have already made some jobs obsolete while creating new ones. Along with these changes, some questions need to be asked to manage the crises from the perspective of working environment. To protect the right of employees and provide inclusive engagement among all parties one of the essential question that need to be asked is how social dialogue can shape industrial relations in the future of work?

The discovery of these relationships begins with an understanding of how social dialogue can complement labor market regulation to ensure democratic participation, more inclusive environment. Social Dialogue has become a strategic key point in that sense for employers to manage changing dynamics with effective communication and engagement with their employees even in changing and unprecedented situations. Social dialogue has become an instrument to overcoming the conflicts, promoting better wages, and working conditions, social justice, and decent work by consultation and cooperation, collective bargaining at the bipartite and tripartite level. However, within the changing nature of work, some of the topics have needed different approaches for contributing the long-term economic and social stability, consensus solutions to work-labor related issues.

The changing dynamics of industrial relations present many opportunities while presenting challenges on the other hand which begin with understanding the future of work-related issues. New policies regarding changing nature of work requires demand shared solutions which need to  developed by the government, employers, workers, and other relevant stakeholders. Transitioning low carbon and green economies there will be an upside-down change observed in the labor market. In agriculture, energy, fishing, recycling, forestry, construction, and transport sector is among the sectors in terms of adopting low-carbon economies become the necessity, yet these sectors constitute a significant proportion of low-skilled jobs.

To anticipate future opportunities for training and qualifications for new-job opportunities in low-carbon areas, ensuring social dialogue among employees, involving relevant stakeholders and third parties become essential to take certain actions to meet these necessities. These can include supporting employees in getting necessary training, counseling, and qualifications. Apart from the opportunities that changing working conditions have present challenges. To illustrate, remote work has been prevalent all around the world after the pandemic, the number of hours has been spent working from home has blurred which may be resulted in overtime works, disturbed balance of working time vs leisure time. Employers are required to inspect the needs of employees, to provide decent working conditions, protect the right of their workers in all situations, retain skilled workers, promote engagement at multi-stakeholder level when it is necessary.

While ongoing changes remain to be explored, these changes in employment entail both risks and opportunities. Democratic participation and consensus building as social dialogue have a critical impact on providing institutional capabilities which will be a must to conduct in the future.


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