Division 1, Changing World of Work, operates at the interface between research and policymaking. It is the contact point for enquiries on a wide range of topics from political actors and institutions, primarily the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales, BMAS). In this context, it is particularly responsible for identifying prospective challenges in the field of occupational safety and health (OSH) that may be thrown up by transformations in the world of work.
Three units, Working Time and Flexibilisation, Monitoring Working Conditions, and Structural Change and Work Organisation are concerned with the key issues relevant to this role. The Working Time and Flexibilisation Unit observes trends in working times, location/time-flexible working, and the impacts of technological change on employees’ workloads and stress levels. The Monitoring Working Conditions Unit supplies well-founded, empirical data for the development and conceptualisation of sustainable future activities. The Structural Change and Work Organisation Unit analyses how organisations and forms of work are evolving. Among other things, it focusses on the cultural and workplace parameters for management activities, as well as employees who carry out interactive work.
The New Quality of Work Initiative – Project Coordination Unit coordinates the technical supervision of projects within the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin, BAuA), and advises the BMAS on the conclusions to be drawn from New Quality of Work Initiative (INQA) projects. It also helps the BMAS run the call-for-bids process for INQA project funding. Another unit, OSH Structures and Strategies, General Office of the National OSH Conference, provides policy advice on occupational safety and health approaches for individual organisations and more widely across the economy. Within the unit, the General Office of the National OSH Conference delivers organisational support for the National OSH Conference, aiding the Conference’s efforts to implement the Joint German OSH Strategy. The Coordination and Information Office for the Minimum Wage provides both administrative and technical support to the Minimum Wage Commission established by the German Federal Government, enabling the Commission to fulfil its duties. The Federal Specialist Office for Occupational Safety and Health assists the German Federation in exercising its legal supervision of the federal states, so helping ensure the inspection activities conducted by the federal states can be assessed on the basis of reliable, robust data.
The Coordination of Activities regarding OSH Instruments and Structures brings together various specialist perspectives and different kinds of expertise from the OSH Structures and Strategies, General Office of the National OSH Conference Unit, the Federal Specialist Office for Occupational Safety and Health, and the New Quality of Work Initiative – Project Coordination Unit. By linking together diverse substantive approaches, it promotes the further integration of knowledge about OSH structures and instruments, thus allowing research activities and recommendations on the continuing development of the OSH system to be explained more effectively and implemented collaboratively.
Overall, the division’s work is integral to BAuA’s research, development, and knowledge transfer activities, since it both contributes to the Federal Institute’s research and development programme, and liaises with other stakeholders when they put recommended measures into practice.