Social Dialogue is key to balancing the interests of workers and businesses in industrial relations, while respecting national, cultural and regional traditions. In doing so, it has a track record in promoting quality labour conditions and productive corporations. Social Dialogue is thus an essential element to ensure decent work and economic growth, one the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Given the significant challenges that the world of work is currently facing, Social Dialogue needs to re-invent itself to sustain its added value for workers and businesses.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) strongly promotes Social Dialogue, to the point that the Organisation is actually governed by social partners and governments in a tripartite way. As such, all ILO policy initiatives seek to promote peaceful and fruitful dialogue between workers, governments and business.
The ILO negotiates international labour standards for its member states to apply at their respective national levels. These standards cover freedom of association and collective bargaining for workers and businesses.
Social dialogue rights of workers being recruited and/or employed by private employment services are enshrined in the ILO Convention on Private Employment Agencies (No. 181). Articles 4, 11 and 12 ensure freedom of association and right of collective bargaining for these workers.
The OECD has also developed research and policy recommendations on social dialogue and collective bargaining as instruments for dealing with labour market developments and changes.
As private employment services seek to serve both workers and businesses in their labour market needs, Social Dialogue is of great importance to the industry. This commitment is reflected in its unequivocal support for the ILO Convention on Private Employment Agencies (No.181). The World Employment Confederation executives and members have participated in numerous tripartite discussions and negotiations within the ILO on issues relevant to the sector and the changing world of work.
As the employer of agency workers, the employment industry is not only the most appropriate party to negotiate with worker representatives on employment and working conditions, it is most importantly the only legitimate party to do so. The sector therefore engages with workers’ and employers’ representatives at global, regional, sectoral and national level:
The World Employment Confederation’s members are party to a vast number of Collective Labour Agreements (CLA) which have resulted in advancing tailored labour conditions for agency workers on equal pay, occupational health and safety, training, pension and other forms of social protection.