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Future of work – how has the COVID-19 pandemic re-shaped the agenda?


Future of work – how has the COVID-19 pandemic re-shaped the agenda?


Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries had experienced transformations in their labour and jobs markets as a consequence of technological progress, climate change, globalisation, and shifts in demography. These trends have had an impact on employment relationships and, as a result, on workers’ rights, obligations and security.

The onset of COVID-19 in early 2020 produced a set of economic challenges on a scale not seen in decades. As economies shut down in an effort to contain the virus, millions of workers were unable to return to their jobs – some temporarily, some permanently.

This created a new urgency to address issues affecting working people worldwide, including the digitalisation of the economy, the need for continuous education, and the fragility of many national social protection systems. COVID-19 has made the case for a new social contract stronger than ever. The pandemic has clearly shown the need to re-think worker protection and help individuals to mitigate job risks while taking advantage of new opportunities.

A five-year research collaboration between the Smith School of Enterprise at University of Oxford and Zurich Insurance Group shows that the pandemic has accelerated changes in the role of government in insurance provision. The report suggests it is inevitable that the state can no longer be the insurer of last resort, particularly due to rising debt levels. New partnerships should be developed between governments, employers, and benefits providers to protect workers against the enhanced risks of a post-pandemic economy.

Join this EURACTIV virtual conference to discuss the 'future of work' post-pandemic. Questions to be discussed:
- How is COVID-19 shaping the agenda for a new social contract at national level?
- What impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the demand and supply of insurance at the individual level and through corporate employee benefits and wellbeing programmes?
- What roles for the public and private sectors in healthcare, looking 2-3 years ahead?


Supported by:




Joost Korte, Director - General, DG EMPL, European Commission

Dragos Pislaru MEP, Member EMPL Committee, European Parliament
Mariya Mincheva, Member Employers' Group, European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
Mihai Palimariciuc, Policy Analyst, EPC
Alison Martin, Chief Executive Officer EMEA Zurich


Brian Maguire, Journalist, EURACTIV


15:00 – 15:05 Welcome
15:05 – 15:20 Keynote Speech
15:20 - 15:30 Panellist statements
15:30 – 16:10 Discussion and Q&A
16:10 – 16:15 Closing statements


Simona Ovesea
+32 (0)2 788 36 86

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Pandemic ‘pressure cooker’ has accelerated changes at work

Pandemic ‘pressure cooker’ has accelerated changes at work

The Covid–19 pandemic has created a “pressure cooker” that has accelerated the process of changes at work and challenged concepts of social protection, EU officials and stakeholders said at a recent event hosted by EURACTIV.