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G-20 labor ministers call for elderly-friendly working environment

  • September 2, 2019
  • , Kyodo News , 02:08 p.m.
  • English Press

MATSUYAMA, Japan – Labor ministers from the Group of 20 major economies adopted Monday a joint statement calling for a safe and healthy working environment for elderly people as their countries’ populations age.


At the end of the two-day gathering in Matsuyama in western Japan’s Ehime Prefecture on “Shaping a Human-Centered Future of Work,” the ministers also agreed to work toward correcting the gender gap in employment.


“An aging population will bring new job opportunities associated with the ‘silver economy,’ but without appropriate actions, also has the potential to result in shortages of labor and skills, slower economic growth, and poverty and inequality in older age,” the statement said.


“We recognize the importance of promoting an active aging society that enables all to participate in the labor market without discrimination,” it added.


The ministers also agreed on policy interventions targeting older workers and employers and helping increase job prospects for the elderly.


Citing long-term care as one of the sectors expected to grow amid aging, the ministerscalled for improving the quality of jobs in the sector, including wages, working hours, safety and health, and protection from violence and harassment.


While the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, in 2014 made a commitment to reducing the gap in the labor force participation rate between men and women by 25 percent by 2025, the ministers said “more needs to be done” to achieve the goal.


“We encourage a more balanced share of household and care responsibilities, including men’s take-up of family-related leave,” the joint statement said, adding they will tackle gender stereotypes that may be limiting opportunities for working women.


Japan’s labor minister Takumi Nemoto pledged at a press conference to implement policies stipulated in the joint statement by cooperating with other G-20 countries.


The G-20 first held a labor ministers’ meeting in 2010 in Washington. The latest round, the 10th, was the first to be hosted by Japan.

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