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Business and social protection

ILO launches Global Business Network for Social Protection Floors

The new ILO network will look for ways companies can support the development of national social protection systems.

Press release | 28 October 2015
GENEVA – The newly-created ILO Global Business Network for Social Protection Floors has been officially launched on Wednesday at ILO headquarters in Geneva.

The network includes multinational enterprises, employers’ organizations and private sector foundations that wish to share good practices and investigate how company programmes can promote the development of national social protection floors *.

“It is ultimately the responsibility of States to ensure the existence of adequate social protection for society and to plan, organize and, in some cases, finance the necessary protection. Enterprises can play a significant role in promoting and realizing social protection floors adapted to each country,” said ILO Director- General Guy Ryder during the launch event.

Today, nearly 73 per cent of the world population lack access to adequate social protection coverage.

ILO research shows that social protection floors are affordable in the majority of developing countries and can be financed through domestic resources in a sustainable manner provided they are well designed.

A growing number of studies also highlight that social protection supports companies’ competitiveness, and leads to lower absenteeism, greater productivity and reduced turnover of workers.

They also show that social protection contributes to reducing poverty, exclusion, vulnerability and inequality, while boosting aggregate demand for goods and services by increasing incomes, which can create new business opportunities for private sector entreprises.

“The current massive social protection gap is not acceptable from a human rights perspective. But it is also a missed opportunity from an economic and social development point of view. Companies that are part of the Network can help us convey this message to the whole business community and beyond,” Ryder concluded.

*Social protection floors are nationally defined sets of basic social security guarantees which secure protection aimed at preventing or alleviating poverty, vulnerability and social exclusion.