European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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20 November 2014, ITUH, Bd du Roi Albert II, 5; 1210 Brussels, ETUI meeting room 7 floor

ETUI Monthly Forum: The Quality of Employment in Developed and Developing Countries

Speakers: Kirsten Sehnbruch, Director of the Centre for New Development Thinking, University of Chile and Agnieszka Piasna, Researcher ETUI

Comments: Rudi Delarue, Deputy Head of Unit ‘External Relations, Neighbourhood Policy, Enlargement, IPA’, DG Employment of the European Commission

Moderator: Philippe Pochet, General Director ETUI

In recent years we have seen increased efforts to define and measure the quality of employment (and similar concepts such as job quality). Overall, these efforts have been much more successful in Europe than in other regions of the world, such as Latin America. In developing countries, data availability on employment conditions is still very limited. However, monitoring the quality of employment is extremely important as employment conditions do not always improve during periods of economic growth but instead respond more to external than internal factors. It is therefore of vital importance that appropriate data and methodologies be developed for establishing indicators of the quality of employment that can then be used across a broad range of countries. The European example thus serves as a model for other regions of the world. The EU has contributed to ILO initiatives on measuring decent work in both developing and developed countries. This is also relevant for the negotiation of goals, targets and indicators on decent work in the post 2015 framework for sustainable development and poverty eradication.

Kirsten Sehnbruch compared the European and Latin American experiences with indicators on the quality of employment, and made public policy recommendations relating to the need for producing such indicators in developing countries. ETUI researcher Agnieszka Piasna then tried to position job quality within macro drivers such as employment protection legislation, welfare regimes and supply-and-demand economics, which can contribute to a better articulation of job quality in public policy.

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