ILO launches new web-based information and assistance service for business: ILO Helpdesk for Business on International Labour Standards

Building on the success of the ILO Helpdesk confidential assistance service established in March 2009 to help companies implement principles of international labour standards in business operations, the International Labour Office (ILO) has now launched a web-based information service component drawing on all sectors of the ILO. News item, 9 December 2010

Article | 09 December 2010

Building on the success of the ILO Helpdesk confidential assistance service established in March 2009 to help companies implement principles of international labour standards in business operations, the International Labour Office (ILO) has now launched a web-based information service component drawing on all sectors of the ILO.

News item, 9 December 2010

GENEVA -- Company managers are increasingly looking to global standards for guidance when developing a social policy, often as part of broader corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitments. Principles contained in the International Labour Standards can provide such guidance for business. To improve access to relevant ILO information and tools, the ILO has launched a new web-based information service.

The ILO has a large pool of knowledge and excellent guidance materials on labour topics that can help managers translate labour principles into practice. With the new ILO Helpdesk for Business web-based service the ILO is now facilitating access to this information on line for a broad range of users around the world”, said Ricarda McFalls, Chief of the ILO’s Multinational Enterprises Programme.

The new website of the ILO Helpdesk for Business is designed to be the ILO’s one-stop-shop for business managers, workers, or their representative organizations as well as governments, multi-stakeholder initiatives and others in search of information and guidance on aligning day-to-day company operations with principles of international labour standards and other resources including the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration).

The web-based information service complements the existing Helpdesk assistance service that responds on a free and confidential basis to questions, submitted by email or phone, which are related to the application of the principles of international labour standards in business operations.

The ILO is the only global organization with representatives of governments, employers and workers that has the mandate to set international labour standards ensuring the protection the workers’ rights. “It is therefore important that within the ever expanding discourse on CSR, the ILO provides information tools and assistance on how company managers and workers can apply the principles of these international labour standards in their operations as part of corporate CSR policies”, added Emily Sims, Coordinator of the ILO Helpdesk for Business. “Since its launch, the ILO Helpdesk assistance service has responded to over 300 questions submitted on a confidential basis, which clearly indicates that there is need for more guidance. To respond to this need, we have now scaled-up the service”.

The ILO Helpdesk for Business website is the result of an ILO-office wide collaboration involving many units. It is accessible via http://www.ilo.org/business. Specific queries on applying principles of international labour standards in company operations can be directly submitted by email to assistance@ilo.org. The ILO Helpdesk for Business does not assess corporate labour practices nor does it provide information on national labour laws or national industrial relations practices.

The ILO Helpdesk for Business is a service of the Multinational Enterprises Programme (EMP/MULTI), responsible for the promotion and follow-up of the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration), the ILO’s key tool for promoting labour standards and principles in the corporate world. The programme receives direct guidance from ILO constituents through the Subcommittee on Multinational Enterprises of the ILO’s Governing Body.