21 September 2016


The World Employment Confederation (formerly Ciett) looks into the future of work and urges policymakers to cooperate with the employment industry to come up with enhanced international labour regulation.

As the world of work is becoming increasingly flat and interconnected, global policy formulations and adjusted labour regulation are required to deal with issues that go beyond national or regional borders. The World Employment Confederation sees this as essential to embrace the many structural shifts that are currently taking place all around the world. Globalisation, growing diversity of contractual arrangements, new job and career expectation, digitalisation and demographics are major drivers reshaping the way we work today.

As a consequence, the World Employment Confederation calls on global policymakers to cooperate with the employment industry and all other relevant stakeholders in order to adjust international labour regulation as a way to size the opportunities the new era of work will bring. While almost 200 million people are unemployed at global level1, 61% of companies around the world experience difficulty recruiting staff, mostly due to shortages of skilled staff. This issue is key as 72% of HR directors say that talent scarcity has negatively affected their business and 45% believe it has threatened leadership continuity and succession. Adopting appropriate regulation will contribute to reduce the mismatch between supply and demand of work leading to better functioning labour markets.

“We are not facing an employment crisis but a work revolution in which intertwined labour markets request more supra-national regulation while respecting national differences”, states Denis Pennel, Managing Director of the World Employment Confederation. “The creation of global employment policies and instruments that can be implemented, regulated and enforced will be crucial to a sustainable future of work. This should be based on transparent, fair and sensible principles in order to lay the groundwork for risk-taking and innovation to be rewarded. International policymakers will have to play a greater role in setting guiding principles and rules in the future.”

In a white paper released on the “The Future of Work”, the World Employment Confederation analyses in detail how employment conditions are changing all around the world and provides a number of policy recommendations on how to adapt accordingly.

“This is the end of work as we knew it! In this complex economic environment, regulation on employment matters should adopt a “glocal” approach, thinking globally about overall guidelines and provisions but allowing the local level to transpose into their national regulation. Policymakers should create easy-to-understand, employment-friendly labour laws facilitating cross-border expansion of businesses” adds Annemarie Muntz, President of the World Employment Confederation. Research conducted by the World Employment Confederation shows that countries that have adopted smart regulation for the employment sector are more competitive delivering flexibility and security for both companies and workers.

“We are experiencing a new reality of work and our industry is at the core of this change, playing an important role as labour market enablers and allowing for improved access to work and prosperity. It is vital that we act alongside policymakers to be able to maximise the many opportunities we are being presented with under the right economic and social conditions”, comments the Vice-President of the World Employment Confederation, Hans Leentjes.

As reflected in the white paper, the employment industry is key to provide a wide range of services to meet candidates’ individual expectations and working conditions – the one-size-fits-all approach does not work anymore. In addition, the industry offers the business community sustainable solutions to contract and distribute labour.

“Faced with new challenges, our industry has evolved from providing candidates and filling job vacancies to creating innovative workforce solutions and shaping careers. With IT becoming a key component of the employment services, the industry is moving towards more tailor-made, output based and talent oriented solutions in order to simplify the increasing complexity of the labour market,” concludes the World Employment Confederation’s president.

After almost 50 years of history, Ciett, the International Confederation of Private Employment Services, is also presenting its new name and brand. The World Employment Confederation will continue to be the global voice of the employment industry and to advocate for better functioning labour markets.

“Our new name better reflects the evolution of our membership, including national federations companies in all continents, as well as our thought leadership when it comes to the world of work. Today, our members provide a broad range of HR services including agency work, direct recruitment, career management, recruitment process outsourcing and managed services in order to simplify the increasing complexity of the labour market” explains Denis Pennel.


About the World Employment Confederation:

The World Employment Confederation is the voice of the employment industry at global level, representing labour market enablers in 50 countries and 7 of the largest international workforce solutions companies. The World Employment Confederation brings unique access to and engagement with international policymakers (ILO, OECD, World Bank, IMF, IOM, EU) and stakeholders (trade unions, academic world, think tanks, NGOs). The World Employment Confederation strives for recognition of the economic and social role played by the industry in enabling work, adaptation, security and prosperity in our societies. Its members provide access to the labour market and meaningful work to more than 70 million people around the world and serve around 5 million organisations on a yearly basis.

For more information, please contact:

Denis Pennel Managing Director

T: +32 2 421 15 85
M: +32 475 86 75 10
E : denis.pennel@wecglobal.org

1 ILO WESO 2016 Report