The 109th International Labour Conference came to its conclusions on 11th December with positive wording about the positive role of the private employment services industry to labour market transitions and participation. The World Employment Confederation and its members now hope to see this translate concretely in supportive regulatory frameworks.
Published on 16th December 2021
Private employment agencies play a pivotal role in the implementation of lifelong career counselling, vocational guidance, and post-training support to assist people of all ages in labour transitions. The sector also makes a positive contribution in the fight against inequality in the world of work as agency work serves as a steppingstone into employment and the formalization of the economy.
This recognition of the positive role of the private employment services industry to labour market transitions and participation come from the conclusions of the 109th International Labour Conference (ILC), agreed on 11th December. The ILC is the annual gathering of the members of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and its purpose is to set the broad policies of the ILO. This year, it had two topics of focus: Skills and Life Long Learning and Inequality in the World of Work.
The World Employment Confederation welcomes these conclusions, which also rightly underlines that agency work only gives rise to decent work deficits in case of a lack of compliance or inadequate regulation and that there is no correlation between agency work and the notion of “insecure forms of work.” In line with the Employers group, the World Employment Confederation however disagree to use this wording of “insecure forms of work” and will not accept the development of that concept going forward.
These conclusions will now serve as a basis for the the program and budget discussion at the ILO. The World Employment Confederation and its members will work further to ensure that the positive role of the private employment services sector is supported.
Several WEC members were active in the negotiations of the conclusions, working with other industries’ representatives in national employers organisations. The World Employment Confederation also works closely with the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) to ensure that employers’ interests are properly represented in ILO discussions, including at the ILC. The ILC brings together governments’, workers’ and employer’s delegates of the ILO member States. It usually meets once a year but given the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 edition – the 109th one – was held virtually and over two sessions.