Partnership for New Work Standards


The Partnership for New Work Standards is a global, cross-industry initiative for forward-thinking companies, with input from unions and independent experts, to leverage their individual and collective power towards building a healthy, resilient and equitable future of work.  

The Challenge

The double disruption of the COVID-19 crisis and accelerated automation and digitalization has hastened the transition into the future of work. Some 84% of companies say that they will accelerate the digitalization of work processes as a result of COVID-19. The rise of remote work has created more flexibility in where, when, how and by whom work is done. Work-life boundaries have blurred and there has been growing concern about the impact of new ways of working on physical and mental health. Automation will require greater efforts on reskilling and upskilling at scale. The disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women and minorities and a racial justice crisis demand new efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusion. Meanwhile, as alternative workforce models continue to expand, they raise concerns about predictability and security. The pandemic has also brought to fore rising inequalities and the need for more progressive approaches towards employment conditions, pay, benefits, health & social protection among others.

The Opportunity 

As organizations transition from the COVID-19 crisis into the ‘new’ future of work, there is the opportunity for employers to collectively reset and drive more human-centric work standards across the full post-pandemic landscape of in-person, hybrid and virtual work, covering both employees and contingent workers. Getting this right will help determine whether the post pandemic recovery leads to positive outcomes for business and for society and ensure the wellbeing of workforces for a sustainable and resilient future.


The Partnership

The Partnership offers the opportunity to be at the forefront of private-sector-led change that will set the benchmark for the future of work. Participating companies will:

• Co-create and endorse a framework for good work standards.

Put in place a future of work strategy that will be reviewed annually at board level.

Raise the bar for their sector through explicit commitments and reporting on improvements made.

The Forum’s New Economy and Society Platform, in collaboration with Mercer, will provide an integrated hub to support implementation where companies can champion best practices and collaborate on an ongoing basis for impact at scale.

Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs), having been central to organizations’ crisis response, are invited to play a leading role in driving these outcomes and in continuing to shape and implement forward-thinking people policies within companies and mainstream stakeholder capitalism.

A Holistic and Integrated Approach to the Future of Work

The initiative originates from the World Economic Forum’s New Economy and Society Platform, which is focused on building prosperous, inclusive and just economies and societies. It produces data, standards and insights, such as the Resetting the Future of Work Agenda, Workforce Principles for the COVID-19 pandemic, Human Capital as an Asset, ‘Upskilling for Shared Prosperity’, The Charter of Principles for Good Platform Work and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Toolkit 4.0

For more information, please contact Aidan Manktelow, Project Lead, Centre for the New Economy and Society, at:

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