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The COVID-19 crisis has changed how we live our lives and, in many ways, served to highlight inefficiencies or flaws in how we have structured our society or how we conduct our business. The pandemic and subsequent lockdown has also caused many of us to re-evaluate our perspectives on how society operates, and given us new found respect for certain professions and industries. Here are some lessons we hope that policymakers have learned from this current situation.

Many well-known clothing brands and retailers have responded to the COVID-19 crisis by cancelling orders, or by demanding retroactive price reductions for goods already in production or completed. This is leading to large-scale dismissals of garment workers in developing countries, and to the inability of many companies in these countries to pay their workers. Many of these workers already work for low wages in poor conditions. With little or no social protection, this loss of income leaves garment workers and their families in an incredibly vulnerable position.

What are the ten trends shaping the future of work?  How are these trends transforming what people do for a living; how they do it; what skills they need; where they perform their work; how work relations are structured; and how work is organised, distributed and rewarded?

Behind the headline jobs numbers, trends in Ireland's labour force participation tell some interesting stories.

The work of Ireland’s carers receives minimal recognition despite the essential role their work plays in society.   It is time that Government allocate sufficient resources to supporting the work of carers in Ireland.

Work and a job are not always the same thing.  Work is far more than just paid employment, and with this in mind it is time to develop policies that ensure all forms of work are supported, valued and recognised.

In this section of our National Social Monitor Autumn 2018 we look at Work, its distribution and in-work poverty and propose a number of policy priorities to tackle the causes of these issues.

Government should stop subsidising the Accommodation and Food Services sector and instead should incentivise the kind of jobs that allow workers to achieve a decent standard of living.

Social Justice Ireland has partnered with Development Perspectives in support of their #SDGChallenge.  May is the month for SDG8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Social Justice Ireland's recent book entitled Basic Income: Radical Utopia or Practical Solution? has received an award for original work in Irish Fiscal Policy from Ireland's Foundation for Fiscal Studies, Fiscal.ie.

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