The dignity of labour is the philosophy that all types of jobs are respected equally, and no occupation is considered superior and none of the jobs should be discriminated on any basis. Regardless of whether one's occupation involves physical work or mental labour, it is held that the job deserves respect. Social reformers such as Basava and his contemporary Sharanas, as well as Mahatma Gandhi, were prominent advocates of the dignity of labour.
The dignity of labour is one of the major themes in Christian ethics, and as such, it is upheld by the Anglican Communion, in Catholic social teaching, in Methodist principles, and in Reformed theology.
In Roman Catholicism, usually titled "The dignity of work and the rights of workers" the affirmation of the dignity of human labour is found in several papal encyclicals, most notably Pope John Paul II's Laborem Exercens, published September 15, 1981. Simply put, any form of work, manual or intellectual, is called labour and respecting any kind of job (manual or intellectual) is called "dignity of labour".
This conception of the divine dignity of work is distinctive of Hebrew and Christian Ethics.
The Church upholds the dignity of labour, whether it is in productive or service work, or whether it is in the rearing of children and the maintenance of the home.
Methodist teaching, especially, favoured the creation of wage-earners and stressed the dignity of labour and desirability of manual skills.
Work discipline was engendered through such measures, and through the general (Calvinist-inspired) emphasis on the dignity of labour in one's calling.