|15 February 2021 – Widespread economic uncertainty, high risk of business serious disruption, changing occupational safety and health safety guidelines, polarisation of opportunity and the rising number of people forced to work in the informal sector, these are some of the serious consequences of Covid-19 on employment and decent work detailed in a newly published report by the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) and the World Employment Confederation (WEC).
The issue of informality is particularly worrisome according to the IOE and WEC as outlined in the Policy priorities for the road to a sustainable recovery. The ILO estimates that two billion people – more than 61 per cent of the world’s employed population – make their living in the informal economy. “Informality has been the elephant in the room for many, many years, but is rarely tackled with a holistic approach and effective measures. The pandemic has highlighted again the vulnerability of workers and employers in the informal economy, re-emphasising the urgent need to create conducive framework conditions for companies to be set up in the formal economy, to hire and grow in the formal economy, and to fully contribute to the needs and developments of societies and economies.” states the joint publication.
To address this issue along with the other drivers of employment and labour market challenges on the road to recovery beyond the Covid-19 crisis and deliver on Sustainable Development Goal 8: Economic Growth and Decent Work, the report puts forward a set of policy recommendations for shaping a better world of work for people and businesses.
It provides concrete policy and regulatory options for policymakers and social partners on all levels of labour market governance. Specifically, these include promoting diverse forms of work, (re)designing policies for remote working, and the redesign of national labour market institutions and safety nets to accommodate a more dynamic and digital economy and world of work among many others listed in the publication.
“This joint position provides crucial guidance to IOE’s 157-member employer’s organisations, governments and trade unions for concrete actions to support national and local paths to economic recovery and an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises. It is an important contribution to the global reflection happening now on how to “build back better” – ensuring this is not only a slogan but ground level transformation,” explains IOE Secretary General Roberto Suárez Santos.
“Businesses and governments have respective strengths that can be leveraged in better synergy,” adds WEC President Bettina Schaller. “Governments can facilitate and create an enabling environment for private sector growth and resilience which will eventually drive a sustained and job-rich recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.”
The IOE/WEC position is available on both www.ioe-emp.org and www.wecglobal.org.