A new ILO study shows that most of the ILO member States made extensive use of ‘peak-level’ social dialogue to shape emergency measures for mitigating the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For 15 March to 10 June 2020, it was found that:
A majority of countries and territories – 134 out of 188, or 71 per cent – used peak-level social dialogue, whether tripartite or bipartite, either singly or together, as part of their response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Among the 134, 13 per cent (17 countries and territories) used only bipartite social dialogue; 46 per cent (61) used only tripartite social dialogue; and 42 per cent (56) used both bipartite and tripartite social dialogue.
Twenty-three countries and territories used only bilateral interactions between government and employers, or between government and workers. This practice does not amount to social dialogue, even though it may have started to pave the way to social dialogue in the future.
Seventy-five of the 134 countries and territories achieved 177 “specific and visible process outcomes”, such as guidelines, codes of conduct, declarations, social pacts and agreements.
Among these 75, 37 achieved more than one outcome (from two to 12), pointing to a continuing commitment of the tripartite partners to address, through social dialogue, multiple aspects of the pandemic, such as sector or profession-specific impacts.
Only 23 per cent (40) of the 177 outcomes were reached within a previously existing formal structure of social dialogue, such as a tripartite labour council, or an economic and social council or similar body. Most outcomes – 75 per cent (134) – were reached outside such a structure, either in ad hoc meetings or, in very few cases – 2 per cent (3) – within ad hoc bodies created specifically in response to the pandemic.
The social dialogue outcomes concerned all four “pillars” of the ILO policy framework for responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Most outcomes to support enterprises, jobs and incomes, and to protect workers in the workplace (respectively, Pillars 2 and 3), were adopted through peak- level bipartite social dialogue between employers and workers. A majority of proposals and measures relating to stimulating the economy and employment (Pillar 1) and to relying on social dialogue for solutions (Pillar 4) were cross- sectoral.
Of the 177 outcomes, 23 per cent (40) recommended additional social dialogue at lower levels, such as the sector or enterprise level, or required its use for implementation and monitoring purposes at these levels – signalling a need for better articulation among the different levels of social dialogue (national, federal, regional, sectoral and enterprise).
Only a small minority of social dialogue outcomes (8 per cent or 14 outcomes) concerned measures specifically targeting workers and business units in the informal or undeclared economy, migrant workers, freelancers and self-employed.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ COVID-19: Pandemic in the World of Work: How social dialogue is making a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic