The first instrument specifically dealing with termination of employment was adopted by the International Labour Conference in the form of a Recommendation in 1963 (No. 119). Subsequently, the Termination of Employment Convention (No. 158) was adopted in 1982, entering into force on 24 November 1985. In adopting Convention No. 158, the Conference adopted the Termination of Employment Recommendation, 1982 (No. 166), replacing its predecessor, Recommendation No. 119, as a supplement to the Convention. As at 9 September 2008, the Convention received 34 ratifications, and has been denounced by one country.
Shortly after their adoption, Convention No. 158 and Recommendation No. 166 were brought to the attention of the Working Party on International Labour Standards (1987) [the “Ventejol Group”] which recommended that the instruments were to be promoted on a priority basis. These instruments were subsequently considered by the Working Party on Policy regarding the Revision of Standards (1997–2002) [the “Cartier Group”]. However, no conclusions were reached by the Cartier Group on either of these instruments (GB.280/LILS/5).
At its 300th Session, in November 2007, the Governing Body agreed to resume the discussion on Convention No. 158 and the Recommendation No. 166 (GB.300/LILS/6). The present note seeks to provide an overview of the Convention, and was originally prepared to facilitate the consultations on these two instruments held in November 2008. This note has since been updated to reflect the outcome of the 79th Session of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (General observation concerning Convention No. 158, November–December 2008).
In March 2009, a discussion on the status of Convention No. 158 and Recommendation No. 166 took place in the Committee on Legal Issues and International Labour Standards (LILS Committee). Following the discussion, the Office was requested to organize a meeting of a tripartite working group of experts to examine the Termination of Employment Convention, 1982 (No. 158) and the Termination of Employment Recommendation, 1982 (No. 166) (see GB.304/LILS/4, GB.304/9/2 and GB.306/LILS/4(Rev.)). This meeting should take place in 2010.