G20 Labour and Employment Ministers Meeting

G20 agrees on policies to shape the future of work for inclusive growth and development

Ministers adopted policy recommendations on skills development, social protection and working conditions for countries to shape a future that works for people around the globe.

Press release | 19 May 2017
Labour and employment ministers of the leading advanced economies and emerging economies (G20) in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler
© BMAS / Lein
BAD NEUENAHR, Germany (ILO News) – “G20 Labour and Employment Ministers have made an important contribution to policies for inclusive growth and development,” said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, following the adoption today of a Declaration entitled Towards an Inclusive Future: Shaping the World of Work.

The meeting was chaired by German Labour and Social Affairs Minister, Andrea Nahles. Ryder said “the Declaration calls for employment and social policy packages for inclusive growth so that the global economy works for everyone. The measures identified in the Declaration give the G20 countries a range of options to harness the changes that are occurring in the world of work so that we create more jobs with better working conditions.”

On the future of work, Ministers agreed that technological change and digitalisation, globalisation, demographic transitions, and changing expectations about work are fundamentally altering our labour markets and creating new opportunities and challenges. They adopted detailed policy recommendations for countries to shape a future that works for people around the globe covering skills development, social protection, social dialogue on adaptable and fair work arrangements and working conditions, regional programmes and sustainable enterprises.

“The G20 is making a big step forward today to make sure that the changes are for the better and reach everybody. I look forward to Ministers’ active engagement in the ILO Future of Work Centenary Initiative,” said Ryder.

The head of the ILO also welcomed important contributions by the governments of Germany and Norway to the Vision Zero Fund, which will help to prevent and reduce the unacceptable number of workplace-related deaths, injuries and diseases around the globe by improving occupational safety and health practices in global supply chains.

Among the issues discussed by Ministers was reducing gender gaps in labour force participation and pay by improving women’s job quality. Ryder commented that “the recommendations itemize an integrated agenda of mutually reinforcing measures that would help accelerate the pace of change in favour of working women and to everybody’s interest.”

Ministers also discussed how to foster decent work for sustainable global supply chains. Welcoming the commitments made by Ministers, Ryder added that “supply chains can be a powerful driver of inclusive growth and development.  The Declaration recognizes that G20 countries have a joint responsibility to promote decent working conditions, and that businesses cannot compete by undercutting labour standards.  It also recognizes that we have to develop processes of interaction and decision-making that promote decent work throughout the chains.”

Ministers agreed that employment plays a key role in promoting the sustainable integration of over 130 million migrants, approximately five million refugees and significant numbers of returning migrants in the G20. Commenting on the extensive and detailed listing of policy practices proposed by Minsters to ease access to labour markets of migrants and refugees, Ryder said, “I think G20 Leaders will be extremely pleased to endorse your leadership in finding consensus on a topic far too many wish to exploit to foment discord.