Social dialogue

Background

The International Labour Conference adopted the Resolution concerning tripartism and social dialogue at its 90th session in June 2002. It served to reaffirm the status and importance of social dialogue both within the ILO and among the member States at the national level. The follow-up to the Resolution aims to demonstrate the value-added of tripartism and social dialogue to the development and implementation of policies and programmes at the national level. Turkey was selected as a pilot country for this initiative, with a constituent needs analysis in February 2004 forming the basis for the development of a National Plan of Action.

Following an assessment, the tripartite parties agreed on a priority theme to be addressed through social dialogue, namely: Employment Promotion and Addressing Unregistered Employment. Çorum and Gaziantep were chosen as the pilot provinces.A National Steering Committee was identified and engaged in the development of this National Plan of Action in October 2004. Local ownership and implementation of this Plan of Action is critical to its relevance and sustainability, thus the Plan of Action has been conceptualized, and will be driven, by the National Steering Committee.

Objectives Identified

Through a number of working sessions held with the leadership and staff of the tripartite partners in 2004, it was agreed that this initiative would focus on the general priority area of employment promotion and addressing the issue of the unregistered employment, reflected here as the development objective. The main focus of the programme can be summarized as “using improved social dialogue to increase registered employment and reduce the prevalence of the unregistered employment.” It must be noted that this is a long-term goal. It is not expected to come about in the timeframe covered by this NPA.

Development Objective

Unregistered employment is reduced by XX%, with subsequent XX% rise in registered employment, by YEAR.

Immediate Objective 1

Tripartite partners actively and effectively involved in the development of provincial employment strategies in provinces of Gaziantep and Çorum, with specific focus on addressing unregistered employment.

Immediate Objective 2

The institutions and mechanisms of social dialogue are strengthened, and an approach to nationalizing the development of employment strategies targeting the unregistered employment is agreed.

Outputs

Immediate Objective 1 - Tripartite partners actively and effectively involved in the development of provincial employment strategies in provinces of Gaziantep and Çorum, with specific focus on addressing unregistered employment.

Output 1.1: Background studies / rapid assessments on situation of employment and unregistered employment in Gaziantep / Çorum completed by March 2005.

Output 1.2: Tripartite capacity is built to address the subject of social dialogue, employment promotion and the unregistered employment.

Output 1.3: Formal linkages built with informal sector to ensure their representation in strategy development

Output 1.4: Employment strategies targeting unregistered employment are developed, with the inputs of the tripartite partners and representation of unregistered workers and employers.

Immediate Objective 2 - The institutions and mechanisms of social dialogue are strengthened, and an approach to nationalizing the development of employment strategies targeting the unregistered employment is agreed.

Output 2.1 A review of the existing social dialogue mechanisms is published, with recommendations for streamlining these processes and improving implementation of policies.

Output 2.2 Mechanisms and institutions are in place – at both the provincial and national levels – to facilitate social dialogue on the development of employment strategies targeting unregistered employment.

Strategy and Approach

Given the complexity of the subject of unregistered employment, and the wide range of actors – both governmental and civil society – implicated in any actions taken to address the subject, it is clear that an integrated and long-term strategy is required. The authorities have already begun strengthening the administration of the tax system, and are considering the development of a public awareness-raising campaign on the unregistered employment. A comprehensive strategy would encompass such reforms, and would complement enforcement and regulation with targeted employment promotion and active labour market policies, the identification and reduction of barriers to formalization, consideration of economic incentives for formalization, and improved training and job-matching to prepare and place workers into decent jobs in the formal sector.

This pilot programme has targeted two provinces in Turkey – Gaziantep and Çorum – which were selected by the social partners based on the prevalence of unregistered employment in these areas. A provincial approach is preferred because it will be much easier to analyse and respond to unregistered employment and the labour market generally, at a local level as compared to a national-level approach. Strategies developed will take into account the specific local contexts, and will be tailored to take full advantage of the possibilities available at the provincial level. Counterparts will be more easily identified, and partnerships can more readily develop within the provinces. The measurement of results of any strategies will also be more measurable.

These initiatives will be driven locally by a working group made up of selected members of the Provincial Employment Board. Membership of the Provincial Working Group (PWG) will include representatives of the major trade unions and employers’ organization, or their affiliates, key government agencies and other organizations as deemed necessary. Representatives to these Working Groups will be selected in consultation with their national-level counterparts, following the finalization of a Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of this initiative. Communication between the National Steering Committee and Provincial Working Group will be essential, and all organizations involved in this programme will need to build and maintain these communication networks.

These pilot programmes will begin with rapid assessments of the status of the unregistered employment in Gaziantep and Çorum, based on interviews with key actors in both registered and unregistered employment of these two provinces. These studies will:
  • Provide a snapshot of the status and situation of unregistered workers and employers, as well as a review of linkages between the two sectors (registered and unregistered) and the effects of these interrelationships;
  • Studying the gender dimension of unregistered employment in the provinces, the different impacts participation in unregistered employment has on men and women, and the different obstacles faced by men and women.
  • Review existing government agencies present in Gaziantep and Çorum, reviewing the efficiency and availability of services provided;
  • Recommend potential partner organizations relevant to the Provincial Working Group;
  • Begin to identify barriers to entry into registered employment;
  • Conclusions and recommendations on how to best address employment promotion and the unregistered employment in these provinces.
"Final Conference of ILO - EU Project Social Dialogue as a Tool to Address Unregistered Employment in Turkey was held on 22-23 February 2007 in Ankara: Project documents and outputs of the project"