G20 Research Group

G20 Summits |  G20 Ministerials |  G20 Analysis |  Search |  About the G20 Research Group
[English]  [Français]  [Deutsch]  [Italiano]  [Portuguesa]  [Japanese]  [Chinese]  [Korean]  [Indonesian]

University of Toronto

G20 Information Centre
provided by the G20 Research Group

Logo of the 2020 Riyadh Summit

G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Declaration

Virtual Meeting, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, September 10, 2020

Ministerial Declaration
Annex 1: Measures to Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19 on Labor Markets
Annex 2: Policy Options for Adapting Social Protection to Reflect the Changing Patterns of Work
Annex 3: The G20 Youth Roadmap 2025
Annex 4: Behavioral Insights Knowledge Exchange Network Terms of Reference
Annex 5: International Organizations' Reports

[back to top]


We, the Labour and Employment Ministers of the G20 members and invited countries, met virtually on the 10th September 2020, to discuss recent global economic and labor market developments and to advance our work towards 'Empowering People' and 'Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All.' This year, COVID-19 has brought an unprecedented global challenge with significant human costs. Fighting and overcoming the pandemic remains our highest and overriding priority. We recognize the importance of protecting and promoting decent jobs for all, especially for women and youth, within our domestic and global labor markets. We support comprehensive, robust and adaptive social protection systems and we are committed to tackling inequalities, including gender inequalities. We acknowledge the value of bringing together technology and a human-centered approach including by using Behavioral Insights in employment policymaking.

1. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on national and global labor markets. Working hours declined by around 14% in the second quarter of 2020, equivalent to the loss of 400 million full-time jobs. People employed in the informal economy, representing 1.6 billion workers, and under-represented groups, such as youth, women and persons with disabilities are among those in the labor market who have been disproportionately affected. We acknowledge that job losses, reduced working hours, suspended employment relations and income loss are likely to leave more people vulnerable to poverty, informality and different forms of exploitation. We recognize that young people have been acutely impacted and there is a risk that, without effective recovery plans at the national and, where appropriate, international level, their longer-term labor market outcomes may be negatively affected.

2. We will continue to work together, and in coordination with other Ministers, to help ensure that, in the spirit of solidarity, the post-pandemic economic recovery has a job- centric focus, to develop and implement effective measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on labor markets and societies, including through the actions set out in Annex 1. Recognizing the international nature of this outbreak, we will ensure a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic and, building on the G20 Labour and Employment Minister's COVID-19 Statement of 23rd April 2020, we will spare no effort to ensure that labor market and economic recovery efforts prioritize sustainable and inclusive growth in quality employment. We will work, both individually and collectively, including through social dialogue, to support all workers experiencing job losses, suspended employment relations, reduced working hours and income loss, while also ensuring their health and safety at work. We will continue to provide good framework conditions and support for employers, including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), to sustain their businesses, create more flexible and resilient business models and to retain employees, subject to national circumstances. We will support employers and employees to leverage new technologies and embrace new working methods, where appropriate. We will continue to support workers through training and reskilling policies to work to ensure they are able to remain in and/or return to the labor market. We remain committed to promoting decent work for all, including through gender- responsive approaches. We will continue to adapt and improve our social protection systems to provide access to adequate social protection for all and will continue to promote access to employment for all, without discrimination on any ground. We recognize the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals to this effort.

3. We recognize the need to promote policy coherence by working jointly with other Ministers, social partners and relevant International Organizations, to tackle the impact that COVID-19 is having on national and global labor markets, in particular between policies that promote inclusive growth, employment and social protection. We ask the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to undertake further analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on global labor markets and to help G20 members develop recovery solutions that tackle the medium and long-term impact of the pandemic on national and global labor markets.

[back to top]

Adapting Social Protection to Reflect the Changing Patterns of Work.

4. We acknowledge that social protection plays a vital role for all people, including those who have experienced reduced income or job loss as a result of COVID-19. The COVID- 19 pandemic has reinforced the need for strong social protection systems to support all workers and their families, including through crisis and recovery. We recognize that social protection systems are facing significant and unprecedented challenges in many of our countries, including identifying and providing adequate protection for all, in particular the self-employed, platform workers, own account workers and workers in informal employment. Social protection systems also need to adapt to provide comprehensive and adequate protection to women and youth, who are often concentrated in the lowest paid, most vulnerable sectors and disproportionately represented in informal employment. We will continue to work individually and collaboratively towards achieving this goal through enhanced coordination and international efforts. Our actions will also be guided by recognition that social protection systems, policies and programs should support sustainable and inclusive growth and quality job creation.

5. With changing patterns of work linked to digital transformation, the classification of workers employment status has significant implications for workers' rights and access to adequate social protection for all. We recognize that correct classification will help support the creation of regulations and policies to reduce social protection gaps, help minimize worker exploitation and ensure fair support from employers. Effective monitoring, including data collection, and reporting on how social protection is adapting to reflect the changing patterns of work is essential. We will ensure that workers' rights are respected and that we develop our social protection systems to be sufficiently robust and adaptable to provide access to adequate support for all.

6. We endorse the Policy Options for Adapting Social Protection to Reflect the Changing Patterns of Work (Annex 2), to help promote the correct classification of workers. We recognize that fostering the transition of workers from the informal to the formal economy will contribute to expanding the coverage of social protection systems and help ensure decent work for all.

[back to top]

Better Preparing Youth for the Transitions to Work.

7. Young people are essential to the current and future prosperity and well-being of our societies. We reaffirm the commitment made by our Leaders in Antalya in 2015 to reduce the share of young people who are most at risk of being permanently left behind in the labor market by 15% by 2025. While strong progress has been made in many of our countries, the COVID-19 crisis is disproportionally impacting youth, in particular young women, in terms of loss of jobs, education and training opportunities, and economic hardship, potentially damaging their long-term job and career prospects.

8. We commit to promoting the G20 Youth Roadmap 2025, as per our national circumstances, to improve the labor market prospects of young people (Annex 3). We will take measures to achieve the Antalya Youth Goal through facilitating steady and successful labor market entry and transitions, strengthening support for young people and tackling the additional barriers faced by young women in particular, in gaining access to quality employment.

9. We ask International Organizations to report on the progress towards the Antalya Youth Goal, calculating the rate for those not in employment, education or training (NEET) using the 15-29 age group with gender breakdowns as a headline indicator. Along with this indicator and based on national circumstances, countries could use a range of auxiliary indicators with gender breakdowns to take account of the diverse labor market situations facing youth in the G20 economies. We call upon the ILO and the OECD to provide in-depth analysis of the progress made and policies implemented, based on the annual self-reporting in our G20 Employment Plans.

[back to top]

Achieving Gender Equality in the World of Work.

10. We affirm our commitment to meet the goal our leaders agreed in Brisbane in 2014, "to reducing the gender gap in the participation rates between women and men in our countries by 25% by 2025", and in line with the Agenda 2030 framework. We welcome the annual monitoring report by the ILO and the OECD. We recognize that while progress has been made since 2014 more efforts are necessary, including in increasing the quality of women's employment, and in advancing equal pay for equal work or work of equal value. We also recognize the disproportionately negative impact of the COVID- 19 crisis on women´s paid and unpaid work. This is due to both the nature of their jobs and to increased disruptions related to care giving responsibilities, which increase the risk of their withdrawal from the labor market. At the same time, we acknowledge that women have the potential to be drivers of the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. We therefore commit to ensuring that these Brisbane objectives will remain high in our policy agendas, throughout the recovery period and beyond, to avoid any reversal of progress made so far. We will ensure that the recent decreases in women's labor force participation do not become structural, and that quality jobs growth benefits all people.

11. We recognize that women, particularly young women and women from disadvantaged groups, often face additional barriers to gaining access to the labor market and decent jobs, as well as to equal career opportunities and leadership positions. These barriers often include gender stereotypes, especially about the role of women in the economy, discrimination in employment, unequal distribution of care responsibilities, unequal access to training, violence and harassment at work and persistent gender pay gaps. We will encourage access to quality and affordable care services, a more balanced sharing of household and care responsibilities between women and men, including men's take-up of family related leave and reducing gender inequalities in job quality, access to education and training as well as pay and pension gaps.

[back to top]

Exploring Behavioral Insights Application for Robust Labor Market Policies.

12. Labor markets continue to undergo extensive transformation. Globalization, digitalization and technological developments remain major drivers of change and, while presenting significant benefits, these changes may also pose significant challenges to labor markets, societies and policy makers alike, particularly when coupled with the impact of COVID-19 on workers and employers across the world. These challenges have become even more apparent and should be addressed to enhance access to opportunities for all and make our societies more inclusive. We need innovative and timely measures to help policy makers meet these challenges, as well as the longer-term challenges faced by youth, women, and vulnerable and excluded groups in general, including in the recovery from the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

13. Scientific inquiry and technology remain pivotal to evidence-based decision-making. Seeking to better understand the drivers of human behavior can help produce better tailored, more effective and adaptive policies to meet the diverse needs of our labor markets. Many G20 members already promote evidence-based policy approaches.

14. We acknowledge the benefits that exchanging knowledge and experience on behavioral insights may offer. We welcome Saudi Arabia's leadership in the establishment of the G20 Behavioral Insights Knowledge Exchange Network, facilitated by the Riyadh Behavioral Insight Center for Labor Market Policies (Annex 4).

[back to top]

Way Forward.

15. In light of the extensive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our economies, we will adapt and improve our social protection systems to help ensure that they provide access to adequate protection for all, and will scale up our efforts to support our youth, including through a G20 Youth Roadmap 2025, that will help us to achieve the 2015 Antalya Youth Goal. We will tackle the various barriers faced by women with regards to entering and advancing within the labor market, in order to achieve our commitment to reducing the gap between women and men in labor force participation as well as improving the quality of women's employment, as agreed in Brisbane in 2014 and reinforced in Bad Neuenahr in 2017. We will continue to monitor the Brisbane goal, as stated in the Osaka leaders' statement, to further develop our G20 Employment Plans, to provide greater focus on the achievement of these goals.

16. As our countries continue to manage the impact of the pandemic and prepare for the recovery, we will work together with other Ministers and G20 tracks in support of our commitments on areas such as promoting inclusive, job rich, sustainable and human centered economic growth, with quality employment for youth and women, and access to adequate social protection for all. We reaffirm our commitment to social dialogue and that it must remain at the heart of policymaking during the COVID-19 crisis and in the recovery phase.

17. We reaffirm our commitment to strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive global growth, and to promoting decent work for all workers, including within global supply chains. We will continue to promote the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work, 2019. We will continue our efforts to eradicate child labor, forced labor, human trafficking and modern slavery in the world of work. On the eve of the International Year of 2021 on The Elimination Of Child Labor, we welcome the historic universal ratification on ILO Convention n°182 on the worst forms of child labor. Safe and healthy working conditions, including the ability to safely enter and/or resume work, are fundamental to decent work, especially in view of the risks highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We welcome the Vision Zero Fund and similar initiatives implemented by the ILO, such as the Better Work Program, as instruments to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on Occupational Safety and Health, and to better prepare for future public emergencies. We reaffirm the importance of sharing best practices through the G20 Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Experts Network on mitigating measures to improve occupational safety and health policies and to protect all workers, including those who have been impacted as a result of the COVID- 19 pandemic.

18. We acknowledge and appreciate the support and informative reports received from International Organizations, including the ILO, the OECD and the International Social Security Association (Annex 5). We value the input, experience and expertise received from the World Bank Group and particularly stress the cooperation of our social partners, L20 and B20. We will continue to work collaboratively with these valued partners and other engagement groups as appropriate.

19. We thank the Saudi Arabian Presidency for its dedication and leadership throughout 2020 and we look forward to the Italian Presidency in 2021.


[back to top]

ANNEX 1: Measures to Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19 on Labor Markets.

Building on the Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit Statement from 26th of March, 2020 and the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers' Statement on COVID-19 from 23rd of April 2020 we will continue to work together to develop and implement comprehensive and effective measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on domestic and global labor markets and on our societies. Fighting and overcoming the pandemic is our highest priority. We will continue to actively collaborate with the G20 Finance Ministers to support the implementation of the G20 Action Plan in Response to COVID-19 to build a future of work that is safer, fairer, more sustainable and more effective in minimizing the consequences of future job and income crises.

Supporting employers and workers through this period of unprecedented labor market challenge is paramount. We must ensure that we do everything we can to support workers, families, enterprises and society to sustain, recover and prosper in a fair, inclusive and sustainable manner is our priority. We will pay particular attention to improving the situation of the most vulnerable groups in the labor force and ensure that the recovery process does not worsen existing injustices and inequalities, including gender inequalities. We will make every effort to protect our workers, particularly more disadvantaged and vulnerable workers and those without access to social protection, and work to ensure that COVID-19 does not widen inequalities and does not undermine the progress made thus far.

As our labor markets begin to recover, we will continue to take actions according to our national circumstances to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 using a human-centered approach, these actions may include:

While the focus of the measures detailed above refers to COVID-19, we will continue to share and utilize the experience and our shared learning from this pandemic to help prepare us to deal swiftly and effectively with possible future labor market crises by building more resilient and more inclusive labor markets.

[back to top]

ANNEX 2: Policy Options for Adapting Social Protection to Reflect the Changing Patterns of Work.

The rise of more diverse forms of employment opens up new job opportunities and more flexibility in work arrangements that can potentially benefit both employers and workers. We welcome the opportunities arising from technological advancement, including encouraging the creation of decent work. However, this also raises challenges for ensuring access to adequate social protection for all. These challenges have been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting job losses and declines in activity, especially for the self-employed, workers in the informal economy, workers in vulnerable groups and workers in new forms of employment who may be facing severe economic hardship in the absence of strong and resilient social protection systems.

We remain committed to strengthening and, where appropriate, expanding our social protection systems to ensure an appropriate response to these challenges and promoting access to adequate social protection for all, regardless of employment classification or contract type, including the self-employed and those operating in the platform economy. We will support transitions from the informal to the formal economy, in order to ensure decent work and reduce the number of working poor. We will take steps to ensure that social protection supports labor market transitions and labor mobility throughout people's working lives. At the international level, we will build on the recent G20 commitment to a concerted response to seek to ensure decent work in the platform economy and other new forms of work, and to strengthen social protection for platform workers.

Correct Classification of Employment Status to Ensure Access to Adequate Social Protection for All.

Building on previous G20 commitments, including Labour and Employment Ministerial Declarations, we endorse the following policy options to make progress towards our commitment to providing access to adequate social protection for all, regardless of employment status, subject to national circumstances, recognizing that currently, the link between employment classification and social protection coverage varies between countries.

We will promote the correct classification of workers' employment status by:

We will ensure equitable and sustainable financing of social protection systems, working with the G20 Finance Track, as appropriate, evaluating the need to work towards an international response based on cooperation and solidarity. Using the G20 Employment Plan Self Report, and drawing on the evidence of international organizations, we will report on the scope and effectiveness of social protection systems, including how social protection systems are adapting to adequately meet the needs of all people, regardless of gender, employment status and classification.

[back to top]

ANNEX 3: The G20 Youth Roadmap 2025.

During the 2015 Antalya Summit, our Leaders committed to reduce the share of young people who are most at risk of being permanently left behind in the labor market by 15% by 2025. To reach this target, we commit to focus our efforts on young people with low levels of skills and qualifications; those who are not in employment, education or training (NEET); or the low-skilled who are NEET or informally employed young people. We understand that NEETs, the low-skilled and the informally employed are significantly impacted by the economic and labor market consequences of the global pandemic. Going beyond the crisis, we also realize the benefit of having more standardized monitoring and reporting practices.

We ask the ILO and the OECD to report on the progress made towards the Antalya Youth Goal through the NEET rate for the 15-29 age group, with gender and age breakdowns, based on the collective definition of "young people who are most at risk of being permanently left behind in the labor market", as "those individuals aged between 15-29 years old, who are neither in employment, education or training (NEET)" as our headline indicator to monitor our progress toward the Antalya Goal. We will use 2014 as the base year from which we will measure our progress.

Furthermore, to account for diverse local and national labor market situations facing disadvantaged youth in the G20 member economies, the annual self-reporting of the headline indicator of the NEET rate in the G20 Employment Plans can be accompanied by a range of auxiliary indicators (Table 1) developed based on the G20 Policy Principles for Promoting Better Youth Employment Outcomes that were endorsed by G20 Labour and Employment Ministers in Ankara in 2015. The auxiliary indicators could include gender and age-based data and collected based on availability, subject to national circumstances. This calls for renewed efforts to enhance policies and measures to reinforce and monitor our progress towards achieving the Antalya Youth Goal.

Table 1: Auxiliary G20 Youth Labor Market Indicators.

Policy objective Indicator and definition

Improving education and skills of youth  
1. Ensuring Basic Skills for All Youth lacking basic skills. Share of youth with a low level of proficiency in numeracy or literacy.
2. Ensuring school completion Youth obtaining basic qualifications. Share of youth aged 20-29 years with at least an upper-secondary level of education.
3. Providing greater choice in educational pathways Youth participating in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). Share of post-secondary students participating in TVET.
4. Promoting access to higher education Youth achieving high-level qualifications. Share of youth aged 25-29 years with a tertiary level of education.
Improving youth employment  
5. Strengthening job opportunities Youth employment rate. Share of youth in employment excluding those in education and training.
6. Tackling unemployment a) Youth unemployment rate. Share of all youth in the labor force who are unemployed (did not work in the reference week and are actively seeking and available for work).
b) Broader youth unemployment rate. Unemployed youth plus those who are potential job seekers (who wish to work but are not actively seeking employment or who were temporarily unavailable to work) as a share of the potential youth labor force (labor force plus potential job seekers).
7. Avoiding prolonged periods out of work Incidence of long-term unemployment for youth. Share of unemployed youth who have been out of work and looking for a job for one year or more.
8. Improving job quality a) Incidence of youth temporary employment. Share of employed youth in temporary employment.
b) Incidence of time-related under-employment. Share of employed youth who, during a short reference period, wanted to work additional hours, whose working time in all their jobs was below a specified threshold of hours, and who were available to work additional hours if they had been given the opportunity to do so.
c) Incidence of youth in informal work. Share of employed youth in informal employment.
d) Incidence of low-paid work for youth. Share of young workers earning less than 2/3 of median earnings

Ensuring that young people can make successful transitions from school to work and find quality jobs is crucial to the current and future prosperity and well-being of our economies and societies. However, there remain several key challenges we must overcome to achieve this.

In response to these challenges, we commit to promote the G20 Youth Roadmap 2025 for improving the labor market prospects of young people. This builds on and reinforces the G20 Policy Principles for Promoting Better Youth Employment Outcomes (Turkey, 2015). It takes into account the COVID-19 pandemic and the structural barriers to decent work for young people, and young women in particular. It also builds on previous commitments, including the G20 Policy Priorities for Preventing Unemployment from Becoming Structural (Australia, 2014), the G20 Policy Priorities for Boosting Female Participation, Quality of Employment and Gender Equity (Australia, 2014), the G20 Skills Strategy (Turkey, 2015), the G20 Entrepreneurship Action Plan (China, 2016) and the G20 Guidelines on Skills for an Inclusive Future of Work (Argentina, 2018).

This Roadmap includes measures that can be adapted in accordance with national circumstances to strengthen support for young people during an economic downturn; improve successful labor market entry; and tackle barriers to quality employment for young people, and young women in particular.

Strengthen support in economic downturns:

Improve successful labor market entry:

Tackle barriers to quality employment, particularly for young women:

  1. Improve educational and training opportunities and choices for girls and young women. In coordination with Education Ministers, tackle gender-based barriers to educational pathways by:
  2. Facilitate access to the labor market:
  3. Reduce gender disparities in job quality:

[back to top]

ANNEX 4: Behavioral Insights Knowledge Exchange Network Terms of Reference.

Over 200 institutions[1] globally are applying behavioral insights to public policy, yet only a few of these are active in the area of labor market policymaking. Behavioral insights may usefully inform labor policies and serve as an additional approach for policy making when based on clear, ethical, and transparent methodologies that generate reliable evidence. Under the G20 2020 Saudi Arabian Presidency, we will establish a focused Behavioral Insights Knowledge Exchange Network, facilitated by the Riyadh Behavioral Insight Center for Labor Market Policies. The establishment of this Network is intended to spur further development and encourage collaboration among G20 members in this area by leveraging existing knowledge and expertise in behavioral insights and further developing it to assist labor market policy-makers in addressing the complex and diverse challenges facing G20 labor markets.

Membership and Organization.


The Network will function as a hub of knowledge for labor market-focused behavioral insights applications. In particular, the Network will:

[ 1] OECD

[back to top]

ANNEX 5: International Organizations' Reports.

[back to top]

Source: Official website of the Saudi G20 Presidency

This Information System is provided by the University of Toronto Library
and the G20 Research Group at the University of Toronto.
Please send comments to: g20@utoronto.ca
This page was last updated September 11, 2020 .

All contents copyright © 2023. University of Toronto unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.