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Technological advances give rise to new ways of working

Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor and Minister Pat Breen host Future of Work Conference in Dublin Castle

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. and the Minister for Employment and Small Business, Mr. Pat Breen, T.D., are today hosting a major Conference on the Future of Work in Dublin Castle.

The Conference brings together approximately 200 stakeholders from government, employee representatives, employers and academia to address the challenges posed by the new world of work. Rapid technological advances have given rise to new ways of working. There will be a focus on the impact of technology on the traditional employer/employee relationship. The Conference will explore whether we now have new forms of work and their implications and ask whether these new arrangements such as the gig economy will transform work as we know it.  


The Conference takes place in the context of the ILO’s Centenary Initiative on the Future of Work. As Ireland prepares to become a full member of the ILO’s Governing Body for the first time in the history of our membership, the Conference will open up the debate on the implications of new ways of working for all stakeholders.      


Minister Mitchell O’Connor and Minister Breen will participate in the Conference together with speakers including Nicolas Niemtchinow (ILO), Patricia King (ICTU), Danny McCoy (Ibec), Professor Jeremias Prassl (University of Oxford) and Julie Spillane (Accenture).

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said “It is important to recognise that the new world of work presents us with opportunities and challenges. It challenges our traditional view of the world of work, including the employer-employee relationship, but while seeking to protect employment rights we must also embrace the flexibility and competitive advantage offered by new technologies.” This conference gives us a valuable opportunity to discuss these challenges.

Minister Breen said “. The pace of technological change is unprecedented and is having an enormous impact of the world of work as we have come to know it. The ILO Centenary Initiative on the Future of Work offers a welcome opportunity to discuss the impact of these changes and brings a welcome and necessary focus to this debate We should embrace the challenge that technological development offers us in the future world of work.  

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