Brussels, February 2021 - The European “Good Work Charter” for robots and humans working together has been released by the European Engineering Industries Association (EUnited). The publication supports the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030.
"The 2.7 million industrial robots in use worldwide and the increasing use of service robots outside factories are rapidly changing the way we work," says EUnited Robotics Chairman, Wilfried Eberhardt. "To actively manage this transition, the European robotics industry has developed the 'Good Work Charter' and identified ten focus areas that we need to address now. It is essential to understand that humans will always play a central role in the workplace."
Focus area one puts the human in the centre: The charter wants robots to relieve workers of the dull and low-interaction work that is not well suited for human nature - employees should work like humans and not like machines. Focus area two makes it clear that robots must assist humans, not the other way around. Therefore, the European robotics industry advocates a "human-in-command approach". The other focus areas deal with skills development; human-robot collaboration; the ease of machine use; initiatives especially for young people; and strategies tackling demographic change.
Nobel Prize laureate, Sir Christopher Pissarides, Co-Chair at the Institute for the Future of Work (IFOW), adds, "The transition to an increasingly automated and data-driven economy requires changes in work arrangements that need to be adjusted by employers, their workers, and government. Industry can help by ensuring that workers are equipped with the skills and knowledge to thrive in the new economy."