Towards an Inclusive Future: Shaping the World of Work
G20 Labour and Employment Ministers Meeting 2017
May 19, 2017, Bad Neunahr [PDF]
We, the Ministers of Labour and Employment of the G20 and invited countries, met in Bad Neuenahr on 18-19 May to promote employment pathways for our societies and economies that foster strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive economic growth benefiting all countries and people so that no one is left behind.
To foster inclusive growth and a global economy that works for everyone, we need an integrated set of policies that places people and jobs at centre stage. We recognise that action and international cooperation is key to ensure that the processes of globalisation and technological change result in more and better jobs. We continue to pursue our commitments to reduce poverty, persistent inequalities, unemployment and underemployment as well as informal work, to promote quality jobs and remove barriers to participation in labour markets. Determined to leverage synergies, we seek to ensure coherence between policies for strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive economic growth, social inclusion and employment.
In pursuit of our objectives, we will build on the results of previous G20 presidencies and relevant international frameworks, notably the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and commit to the following policy priorities:
Shaping the future of work by harnessing opportunities of structural change for new and better jobs and reducing risks through a focus on policies for skills development, effective social protection for all, and job quality;
Strengthening our efforts to reduce gender gaps in both labour force participation and pay, especially by improving the quality of female employment;
Promoting the fair and effective integration of regular migrants, recognised refugees and returning migrants into labour markets, in accordance with national law;
Fostering policies that promote decent work, including through capacity building, transparency, and responsible management for sustainable global supply chains.
Shaping the future of work
The resilience and inclusiveness of our economies and societies will depend on how we shape the future of work, tackle uncertainty and foster economic security.
Trends such as technological change and digitalisation, globalisation, demographic transitions, and changing expectations about work are fundamentally altering our labour markets. These trends are creating new opportunities and challenges. Work will not end, but jobs and the organisation of work will change.
Recognising the speed and depth of change, we will seek to harness the opportunities inherent in these trends, in particular for new and better jobs. We need to respond to critical challenges, including more frequent occupational changes, labour market segmentation, employment polarisation, geographical differences, as well as gaps in social protection resulting in part from the rise in non-standard forms of employment and the growing platform economy. We will address the blurring boundaries of where, when and how work is carried out, affecting rights and responsibilities of both workers and employers.
Acknowledging that global trends create new demands in terms of adjustment of skills, adequate social protection provision, the need for adaptability by workers and firms, and an enabling environment for job creation, we commit to developing targeted action as outlined in the G20 Priorities on the Future of Work (Annex A).
Taking into account the commonalities and differences among G20 economies and in line with our G20 Priorities, we will enable our workforces to acquire, maintain and continuously adjust relevant skills throughout their working lives, and work towards social security coverage reflecting the increasing diversity of occupations and employment, including own-account workers and those in the platform economy. We will also review how the changing nature of employment impacts on working conditions and involve social partners as important actors in establishing and implementing fair work arrangements.
In developing our actions, we also take note of the discussions in the context of the ILO Centenary Initiative on the Future of Work, the upcoming revised OECD Jobs Strategy and the OECDs initiative on the Future of Work. We call for these discussions to further develop a shared understanding of the current changes and policy solutions.
Reducing gender gaps in labour force participation and pay by improving women's job quality
We are continuing to take steps to achieve our commitment to reduce the gap in labour force participation rates between men and women by 25 per cent by 2025 (Brisbane goal) by boosting female participation, improving the quality of employment and enhancing gender equity (Melbourne LEMM Declaration 2014).
We have made progress since 2014, but stronger efforts are necessary to achieve the Brisbane goal and address other gender gaps in our workforce, including pay and career gaps in nearly all G20 economies and gaps in social security resulting from work-related gender inequalities.
Improving the quality of women's employment is a priority for enabling more women to enter, remain in and re-enter the labour market, and for reducing gaps in pay and social security. We will take further steps on these issues informed by the G20 Policy Recommendations set out in Annex B, addressing the specific challenges women face during different stages of their working lives and paying particular attention to work-related gender inequalities and stereotypes. Actions within our government should be coordinated with all relevant stakeholders and institutions. We also recognise the important role of social partners in this respect.
In line with our G20 Policy Recommendations, we will address gender pay gaps mainly by promoting effective wage policies, removing barriers women face when striving for higher paying, higher quality jobs, tackling occupational and sectoral segregation and fostering women's career prospects including through entrepreneurship. We will work towards reducing the disproportionately high number of women in informal employment, involuntary part-time work and low paying jobs, including through providing greater access to training and career pathways and by improving employment prospects for women in all forms of employment. We will also promote policies that help women and men reconcile work and family lives in a more equitable manner.
We will continue to monitor progress towards the Brisbane goal and better quality of female employment in a systematic and transparent manner and commit to report accordingly in our updated G20 Employment Plans.
Promoting fair and effective labour market integration of regular migrants and recognised refugees - a potential for inclusive growth
We recognise that employment plays a key role in promoting the sustainable integration of over 130 million regular migrants, approximately five million recognised refugees, and significant numbers of returning migrants in the G20. Therefore, we will contribute to the implementation of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants (9/2016). In line with paragraph 24 of the New York Declaration, we recognise the rights and responsibilities of states to manage and control their borders. In this respect, we acknowledge that, in accordance with national circumstances, fair and effective labour market integration policies can contribute to realising inclusive growth and promoting social cohesion. At the same time, we remain mindful of the specific challenges host countries and communities face in adjusting their labour markets in response to large movements of migrants and refugees.
As a follow up to our Leaders' call from Hangzhou to address labour migration and forced displacement, we have identified G20 Policy Practices for the Fair and Effective Labour Market Integration of Regular Migrants and Recognised Refugees (Annex C).
In accordance with these practices and considering national circumstances and respecting domestic legislation, we
recognise the advantages of labour market access for regular migrants and recognised refugees;
acknowledge the benefits of improving employability through effective support on language, skills and job search;
emphasise the importance of supporting fair and equal working conditions by promoting decent work opportunities, effectively enforcing labour laws and regulations and addressing discrimination; and
underline the key role that social partners and civil society can play in the promotion of social and economic integration, and the importance of cooperation with countries of origin.
Effective international cooperation at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels can help develop skills recognition systems, close the international data gaps, encourage public and private agencies to engage in fair recruitment practices, and consider ways for the cross-border portability of social security. We will seek progress on these topics and ask the ILO, OECD, WBG and IMF to support our activities in line with their respective mandates.
Through our actions, we will contribute to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people (SDG 10.7), and to protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers and in particular women migrants (SDG 8.8). We also note the ILO Guiding Principles on Access of Refugees and other Forcibly Displaced Persons to the Labour Market, and the ILO General Principles and Operational Guidelines for Fair Recruitment.
Fostering decent work for sustainable global supply chains
Global supply chains account for more than 450 million jobs worldwide and can be an important source of job creation, economic development and prosperity. However, governance gaps and poor enforcement of labour laws and standards have contributed to decent work deficits in global supply chains including poor occupational safety and health, low pay and excessive overtime.
Accounting for 80 per cent of worldwide trade, the G20 have a joint responsibility to promote decent work and a duty to protect fundamental principles and rights at work as a foundation for an inclusive global economy and fair globalisation. We also underline the responsibility of businesses in this regard and recognise that they require a global level playing field. We emphasise that violations of decent work and fundamental principles and rights at work cannot be part of the competition.
We reaffirm our commitment to international guidelines and frameworks such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UN Guiding Principles), the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (ILO MNE Declaration), the ILO Conclusions concerning decent work in global supply chains (adopted by the 2016 International Labour Conference), and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (OECD Guidelines) for countries that adhere to them.
We also commit to take immediate and effective measures, as called for by SDG 8.7, both in our own countries and globally, towards eradicating modern slavery, forced labour and human trafficking, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms. We call on governments to consider ratifying and implementing the ILO's 2014 Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention and encourage the ratification and implementation of the 1990 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the 1973 ILO Minimum Age Convention and the 1999 ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention. We ask the International Organisations in cooperation with the Alliance 8.7 for a joint report containing proposals on how to accelerate action to eliminate the worst forms of child labour, forced labour and modern slavery in global supply chains including identifying high risk sectors, and how to support capacity building in the countries most affected.
We will work towards establishing adequate policy frameworks in our countries to support the attainment of decent work and strengthen compliance with fundamental principles and rights at work in global supply chains. In developing such frameworks, countries could, in accordance with national circumstances, consider:
developing national action plans to achieve decent work, for responsible business conduct and compliance with domestic labour laws;
the inclusion of fundamental principles and rights at work and decent working conditions in trade agreements, where appropriate; and
the involvement of stakeholders in initiatives designed to foster sustainable global supply chains, in particular social partners, companies and consumers.
We ask the Employment Working Group with the support of the International Organisations by 2019 to analyse the G20 actions taken to achieve decent work in global supply chains, based on the reporting in the G20 Employment Plans.
Based on the G20 Statement on Safer and Healthier Workplaces, we will encourage initiatives to improve occupational safety and health across global supply chains. For the prevention of severe and fatal work related accidents, we support the global Vision Zero Fund implemented by the ILO and similar initiatives such as the Better Work Program (Annex D). We welcome further voluntary contributions to the Fund and encourage our businesses to join.
Fair and decent wages are a key component of decent working conditions in sustainable global supply chains. Building on the ILO MNE Declaration, we emphasise that wages should take into account the needs of workers and their families, the cost of living and economic factors. In this respect, minimum wage legislation and collective bargaining in particular can set income floors to reduce income inequality, eliminate poverty wages and achieve sustainable wage growth. Social partners can play an essential role in this process, including through social dialogue. In this respect, we also take note with interest voluntary national and international initiatives like ACT (Action, Collaboration, Transformation), the joint initiative of global retailers, brands and trade unions working towards living wages in the textile and garment sector.
We underline the responsibility of businesses to exercise due diligence in line with the UN Guiding Principles, the ILO MNE Declaration and, where applicable, the OECD Guidelines, and we encourage our businesses to report on these due diligence procedures. In order to promote due diligence and transparency in global supply chains, we will continue to communicate clearly on what we expect from businesses with respect to responsible business conduct, and we commit to support them, particularly SMEs, in these endeavours. We welcome initiatives to facilitate industry-wide due diligence and to harmonise audit standards, and we support sector specific dialogues. We will also encourage businesses to promote decent work including through technology transfer and International Framework Agreements as appropriate.
We underline the importance of providing access to remedy. We will encourage the establishment of non-judicial grievance mechanisms and welcome the development of national focal points to promote the use of the ILO MNE Declaration and its principles whenever appropriate. Countries amongst us that adhere to the OECD Guidelines will strengthen and increase the visibility of the OECD National Contact Points.
We call upon the Employment Working Group and International Organisations to facilitate regular discussions among G20 members to exchange experiences and promote learning and policy coherence.
Boosting youth employment
We recognise the relevance of our policy priorities for the employment prospects of young people, in particular as regards their qualifications, skills and working conditions in view of the future of work, young women's chances to enter the workforce and progress in their professional careers, and possibilities for young regular migrants and recognised refugees to access our labour markets.
In this spirit, we reaffirm our commitment to improve youth employment outcomes. We will review progress and take stock of policies to achieve the goal of reducing the share of young people who are most at risk of being permanently left behind in the labour market by 15 per cent by 2025 (Antalya Summit 2015, Ankara LEMM Declaration 2015). We will continue to monitor progress towards the Ankara goal and better quality of youth employment in a transparent and systematic manner and commit to report according to our updated G20 Employment Plans.
We will also continue to take action in line with the G20 Initiative to Promote Quality Apprenticeship. We acknowledge that apprenticeship systems are particularly effective in integrating young people into the labour market when they provide coordinated, high quality school- and work-based learning, are built on the shared responsibility between governments and social partners, and involve public employment services, particularly to support disadvantaged youth to access pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programmes. We emphasize the important role of employers' engagement in providing infrastructure and on-the-job training as well as work contracts and appropriate remuneration for apprentices as another key component of quality apprenticeship systems.
We will continue to further develop and implement our G20 Employment Plans and include reporting on actions according to national priorities regarding the labour market integration of regular migrants and recognised refugees and sustainable global supply chains. We will monitor progress in a systematic and transparent manner. We will also continue our exchange on the future of work and further develop concrete policy action in line with the G20 Priorities on the Future of Work.
In line with the G20 Leaders Communiqué (Hangzhou Summit 2016), we will continue to implement our commitments in the G20 Entrepreneurship Action Plan and welcome the formal establishment of the Entrepreneurship Research Centre on G20 Economies and encourage it to conduct relevant studies in member countries.
We will reinforce our cooperation with other G20 tracks, particularly with Finance Ministers as regards exchange and joint policy development on inclusive growth with a particular focus on reducing income inequalities and promoting labour productivity, building upon our existing G20 commitments including the G20 Policy Priorities on Labour Income Share and Inequalities (Ankara LEMM Declaration 2015) and the G20 Labour and Employment and Finance Ministers' Communiqué (Moscow 2013).
We believe that social dialogue is key for the success of our policies. We therefore welcome the intensified exchange and cooperation with L20 and B20 during our Labour and Employment Ministers Meeting. We look forward to further cooperation with them and the civil society.
We appreciate the expertise provided by the ILO, OECD, WBG and IMF for the Employment Working Group and our meeting and take note of their reports (Annex E). We will continue our fruitful cooperation with them.
We will present this Declaration to the G20 Hamburg Summit for our Leaders' consideration as they strive to shape an interconnected world by building resilience, improving sustainability and assuming responsibility.
We thank the German Presidency for its leadership and look forward to our next meeting in 2018 under the Presidency of the Argentine Republic.
 Regular migrants are all those residing in a country in compliance with the legal framework of that country, including for reasons such as work (labour migrants), family reunification or education (student migrants). Regular migrants are referred to hereafter as migrants.
 Recognised refugees are all persons admitted into a host state for humanitarian reasons and whose application for asylum has been granted based on the 1951 Geneva Convention and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees or who enjoy subsidiary or similar protection.
 Returning migrants are persons returning to their country of citizenship after having been international migrants (whether short-term or long-term) in another country, and who are intending to stay in their own country for at least a year.