Policy Brief

The role of public employment programmes and employment guarantee schemes in COVID-19 policy responses

The devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have added urgency to putting in place the policy measures towards establishing an employment guarantee. Such a guarantee would aim to arrest further deterioration of labour markets. Large-scale public employment programmes (PEP) or employment guarantee schemes (EGS) would form a critical part of such a guarantee through acting as an employer of last resort and offering work at a minimum wage to those willing and able to work. However, these programmes need to be designed and implemented as part of a coherent set of economic, social protection and employment policies that collectively protect minimum conditions in the labour market and at the same time support economic recovery and transitions into formal employment.