Zurich Insurance Group has launched a research program in conjunction with the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University to look at developing frameworks with different stakeholders so workers are provided with flexible protection and financial support.
The Agile Protection program examines recent labour market trends and the current systems in place to support people, stressing that the systems must be rethought given those entering the labour market today would typically switch employers several times throughout their careers.
The report said factors like increasing numbers of gig workers in the sharing economy and increased longevity extending working lives mean people are lacking financial safety nets.
Gary Shaughnessy, chair of the Z Zurich Foundation, said the launch of the program builds on the insurer’s work on income protection gaps the challenges that these bring to people, society, business and governments.
“These are currently exacerbated by uncertainty in the economy, higher levels of consumer debt and stretched welfare budgets,” he said. “At the same time, the dramatic shifts we are seeing in our workplaces present us with a clear need for more social protection and for flexible types that can be tailored to support people throughout their working lives regardless of where and how they choose to work.”
The report hopes to compile a series of recommendations to improve financial protection for individuals, including those in non-traditional employment, by Q3 in 2020.