International Labour Standards on Labour administration

International labour standards are usually applied through national law and policy. It is therefore vital for each country to maintain a viable and active labour administration system responsible for all aspects of national labour policy formulation and implementation. In addition to promoting labour administration systems in a variety of forms, ILO standards also encourage the collection of labour statistics, which are invaluable in identifying needs and formulating labour policy at both the national and international levels. While labour administrations exist in most countries around the world, many of them face financial and material difficulties. Adequate financing of labour administration systems is therefore necessary to maintain and strengthen this important development tool.

Selected relevant ILO instruments

  • Labour Administration Convention, 1978 (No. 150) - [ratifications]
    Ratifying countries are required to ensure, in a manner appropriate to national conditions, the organization and effective operation in their territory of a system of labour administration, the functions and responsibilities of which are properly coordinated. The labour administration system shall be responsible for the formulation, implementation and supervision of national labour standards; employment and human resources development; studies, research and statistics on labour; and shall provide support for labour relations. Participation by workers and employers and their respective organizations in relation to national labour policy shall be ensured as well. Labour administration staff shall have the status, the material means and the financial resources necessary for the effective performance of their duties.
  • Labour Statistics Convention, 1985 (No. 160) - [ratifications]
    Ratifying countries are required to regularly collect, compile and publish basic labour statistics, which shall be progressively expanded in accordance with their resources, on the economically active population, employment, unemployment, and where possible visible underemployment; structure and distribution of the economically active population, average earnings and hours of work (hours actually worked or hours paid for) and, where appropriate, time rates of wages and normal hours of work; wage structure and distribution; labour cost; consumer price indices; household expenditure or, where appropriate, family expenditure and, where possible, household income or, where appropriate, family income; occupational injuries and, as far as possible, occupational diseases; and industrial disputes.
  • Further relevant instruments

Further information

  • General Survey on Labour Administration (1997) - [pdf]
  • ILO Labour Administration, Labour Inspection and Occupational Safety and Health Branch (LABADMIN/OSH)