The public debate on the future of work has centred so far on the likely shape of the workplace and its implications for both employers and employees. There has been far less focus on what this might mean for workers’ health, safety and wellbeing. When wellbeing has been considered, the discussion has centred on the present, rather than preparing us for the challenges of the future. Yet, the impact of automation on the workplace will be more fundamental than is commonly understood, with 11 million jobs predicted to be lost in the next 20 years in the UK. As we are already seeing with some ‘gig’ working, it may undermine such basic human needs as social identity, economic security and a sense of belonging.
The Future of Work and Risk conference in Bristol next month brings together leading commentators and thought leaders to provide an even deeper insight into what can be done to keep workers healthy and our economy productive, now and in the future.
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