In Laborem Exercens, John Paul II discusses the relationship between the worker and the direct employer, and says, “The key problem of social ethics in this case is that of just remuneration for work done.” In this article we broaden the concept of just remuneration to the context of the worker’s lifetime earnings and benefits received in the jobs held. Economists find that there is a life cycle of earnings over the working age of people. It is possible that a system that provides just remuneration for every job would be inadequate from the perspective of all those in the labor force. The optimal job for a person may differ, depending on the person’s age, family role, level of education, and plans for the future. The ethical concern should be whether the types of jobs available are such that people at different stages in their lives can find work that enables them to fulfill their lifetime plans and objectives.
John Lunn and Robin Klay, " 'Just Remuneration' Over a Worker's Lifetime," Journal of Markets & Morality 6, no. 1 (Spring 2003): 177-199