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Government report on the future, part 1: A shared understanding of the transformation of work

The first part of the Report on the Future of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s Government builds a shared understanding of the future of work. The report looks for answers to broad questions exploring the future of working and provides information on the consequences of the changes that are taking place.
The transition of working life is perhaps the greatest challenge for Finland, and there is no single, simple solution to it. In this transition the traditional links between growth, productivity and wellbeing may be broken. The consequences for the society may be quite dramatic, but the changes will take some time to happen – the work of the future is characterized by diversity and continuous change over longer periods of time. The report raises questions concerning the social policy of the future and opportunities that we should grasp already today. The key questions are concerned with how the transition of work changes the traditional link between work and earning a living and the regularity, coverage and functioning of the social arrangements and safety networks that support this, while also offering additional impetus and significant opportunities for new forms of organization and self-employment, platforms, sharing economy and joint providership. As the borders between employer and employee, provision and consumption, working and non-working, and entrepreneurship and paid employment are fading, this changes many of the key social structures, including tax base and the customer base of the social security system, and pressures are created to reform the competence base, legislation, and the role of trade unions and protection of interests. The advancement of technologies treats different types of tasks in very different ways and at a different pace and the resources of the labour force are highly varied, which means that there is a risk of growing inequality in working life and on the labour market. These questions take us towards the second part of the report, which is concerned with building solutions and policy choices. The second part of the report will be published in summer 2018.