COVID-19 and social dialogue

Social dialogue, based on respect for freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, has a crucial role to play in designing policies to promote social justice and buttress other measures by governments to protect jobs, incomes and companies. As in times of prosperity, tripartite and bipartite social dialogue in a context of crisis can contribute to effectively reconciling competing interests and building trust in, commitment to, and ownership of policies.

Since the initial phase of the COVID-19 outbreak, social dialogue have played an important role in shaping national policy responses during the pandemic, in a majority of ILO member states. The ILO has intensified its support to the tripartite constituents, with a view to placing social dialogue at the heart of policy-making in crisis-responses, in line with international labour standards and drawing on best international practice. Numerous Briefs and other material on the role of social dialogue during the pandemic, covering a wide range of areas (Occupational safety and health at work, social protection, etc.) and regions have been released or are under preparation.
  1. Publication

    Social dialogue one year after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic: spotlight on outcomes

    14 June 2021

    This Brief presents an analysis of social dialogue “outcomes” (such as in the form of joint guidelines, proposals and statements, agreements and pacts), which have been key in shaping responses to the COVID-19 crisis in over 100 countries, from 1 February 2020 to 31 January 2021. A key focus is on outcomes aimed at promoting socio-economic recovery, which are of particular importance as they are progressively shaping, among other things, the agenda of “post-emergency” social dialogue.

  2. Questions & answers

    The role of social dialogue and the social partners in addressing the consequences of COVID-19 in the informal economy

    29 October 2020

  3. Policy brief

    Peak-level social dialogue as a governance tool during the COVID-19 pandemic: Global and regional trends and policy issues

    26 October 2020

    This brief provides a review and analysis of peak-level social dialogue practices in the early stage of the COVID-19 outbreak – from 15 March to 10 June 2020. It also presents observations on policy issues and possible avenues for constituents.

  4. COVID-19: Pandemic in the World of Work

    How social dialogue is making a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic

    23 October 2020

    A new ILO study shows that most ILO member States made extensive use of "peak-level" social dialogue to shape their emergency measures for mitigating the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  5. © ILO 2021

    Social dialogue

    Social dialogue crucial to tackling impact of COVID-19

    20 October 2020

    Agreements between governments, employers and workers help protect workers, businesses and economies during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report says.

  6. Policy brief

    Social dialogue on occupational safety and health in the Covid-19 context. Ensuring a safe return to work - Practical examples -

    26 August 2020

    Against the background of the Covid-19 pandemic, most countries have re-opened their economy and workers have been requested to return to their workplace. The present Brief highlights the need for social dialogue in order to ensure a safe return to work. It also illustrates a number of practical examples from across the globe where this return was prepared through bipartite or tripartite consultations, at the national, sectoral or enterprise level.

  7. © Jennifer A. Patterson / ILO 2021

    COVID-19: Stimulating the economy and employment

    As jobs crisis deepens, ILO warns of uncertain and incomplete labour market recovery

    30 June 2020

    The International Labour Organization’s latest analysis of the labour market impact of COVID-19 finds its impact on the world of work was more severe than previously estimated, and offers three scenarios for the second half of 2020.

  8. COVID-19: Relying on social dialogue for solutions

    Social dialogue key to combating COVID-19

    21 May 2020

    What can governments, employers and workers do to help fight Covid-19? They can work together. The ILO calls this cooperation between representatives of governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations social dialogue.

  9. Policy brief

    The need for social dialogue in addressing the COVID-19 crisis

    05 May 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic with its far reaching socio-economic consequences calls for effective tripartite social dialogue and cooperation bringing together governments and employers’ and workers’ organizations to design effective strategies and policies to address its impacts.

  10. © Kandukuru Nagarjun 2021

    COVID-19: Stimulating the economy and employment

    ILO: As job losses escalate, nearly half of global workforce at risk of losing livelihoods

    29 April 2020

    The latest ILO data on the labour market impact of the COVID-19 pandemic reveals the devastating effect on workers in the informal economy and on hundreds of millions of enterprises worldwide.