The fourth “Decent Work Country Programme” of Moldova for the 2016 – 2020 period promotes decent work as a key to national development and is based on the previous successful cooperation between the ILO and Moldova.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Moldovan Minister of Labour, Social Protection and Family Stela Grigoras, the ILO Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia Heinz Koller, President of National Employers’ Confederation Leonid Cerescu and President of National Trade Union Confederation Oleg Budza. The signature ceremony was organized in the framework a joint UN event to mark the World Day of Social Justice on 19 February 2016 in Chisinau.
The Programme, which was developed with the participation of the Moldovan government, employers’ organization and trade unions focuses on three jointly agreed key priorities:
- Promoting employment and an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises
- Strengthening capacity of government institutions and social partners for effective social dialogue
- Enhancing social protection and conditions of work
More and better jobs are neededEmployment rates in Moldova are among the lowest in Europe and Central Asia, denoted at large by low labour force participation rate in constant decrease from 53 to 41 per cent over the past ten years, slightly higher for men (44.1 per cent) than for women (38.6 per cent). Therefor the key challenge and the main focus for Moldovan labour market policy should be to increase both the activity rate along with employment rate. This can only be achieved if more and better-paid jobs (decent jobs in terms of wages, social protection, work and family reconciliation as well as occupational health and safety) are available in the domestic labour market.
Productivity in Moldova is among the lowest in the region, reflecting an incomplete transition from a planned economy dominated by agriculture, high informal employment, as well as education and skills challenges. Half the population in Moldova is still rural, and a quarter of the employed population works in agriculture, a sector with low productivity and high share of informal employment. To significantly improve competitiveness of enterprises, an enabling environment is indispensable in which businesses can start-up and grow. The improvement of vocational education and development of skills through apprenticeship schemes to increase the labour productivity and the employment rate is a matter of urgency.
To achieve these goals, the first priority of the programme is to promote employment and an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises. The ILO will continue its work with employers’ organizations and other stakeholders improving legal and regulatory framework for enterprise development, with a special focus on women entrepreneurs. National capacities will be improved to better design, implement, monitor and evaluate gender-responsive and socially inclusive employment policies taking into account the particular needs of vulnerable groups, like women, youth, migrant and people with disabilities.
Production and dissemination of essential labour statistics will be strengthened to monitor new employment trends. National stakeholders will produce sectorial skill anticipation reports with the help of ILO tools, and assess the effectiveness of national or sectorial skills policies through tripartite skills councils.
The second priority seeks to strengthen the capacity of government institutions and social partners for effective social dialogue. ILO will continue to assist the tripartite constituents in the process of reforming legal and institutional framework for social dialogue at national, local and sectoral levels. The newly established sub-regional legal database CEELex will be also used for this purpose. Capacity of the government to promote and of the social partners to engage meaningfully into collective bargaining will be strengthened in order to raise the level of protection provided by collective agreements.
The ILO intends to continue its effort to strengthen the capacities of labour inspection to design and implement policies and strategies, in particular aiming to facilitate the transition from informality to formality, and to improve working conditions of workers staying in the informal economy. The ILO will support the implementation of innovative approaches to tackle informal economy and undeclared work by developing new practices, programs, campaigns, tools and IT support systems. The capacity of employers’ and workers’ organizations will be strengthened enabling them to deliver useful services to their members and thus become more relevant and representative.
The third priority aims to improve social protection and conditions of work. Better wage and income policies will be developed and implemented thanks to the ILO’s support with an emphasis on equal opportunities for women and men. The ILO will continue to support the reform process of social security systems to improve their adequacy, sustainability, compliance and coverage. Moldova will extend the social security coverage for informally employed workers and farmers and improve the compliance and contribution collections through continuing ILO technical assistance in the awareness campaign and by developing a strategy based on a needs assessment survey. Finally, new bilateral social security agreements will be pursued with destination countries of Moldovan migrant workers to ensure the recognition and portability of pension and social security benefits accrued in the host countries.
The programme will be implemented during a five year period until 2020. The parties confirmed their commitment to cooperate in the programme’s implementation which will be regularly monitored.