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. Virtual Event

    From crisis to opportunity for sustainable peace

    A joint perspective on responding to the health, employment, and peacebuilding challenges in times of COVID-19.

  2. Publication

    Digital skills and the future of work: Challenges and opportunities in a post COVID-19 environment (WISIS Session 216, 29 July 2020)

    11 December 2020

    This note is based on the WISIS Forum 2020 session “Digital skills and the future of work: challenges and opportunities in a post COVID-19 environment” hosted by ITU.

  3. © Jérémy Stenuit 2022

    COVID-19 and price inflation

    COVID-19 drives up food prices worldwide

    10 December 2020

    COVID-19 restrictions have altered consumer spending patterns. In particular, lockdown measures have affected the supply of and demand for certain products and, hence, their prices.

  4. COVID-19: Protecting workers in the workplace

    Marlee Matlin: Disability inclusion means business success

    03 December 2020

    Actor and activist Marlee Matlin says the ILO plays a crucial role in protecting the rights of persons with disabilities in the world of work. Inclusion of persons with disabilities achieves the twin goals of advancing human rights and ensuring business success.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. COVID- 19

    A quick reference guide to common COVID-19 policy responses

    04 September 2020

    This reference guide provides a menu of common policy measures implemented by governments from different parts of the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on policy measures affecting business directly or indirectly. It assists employers’ and business membership organizations (EBMOs) in their advocacy and policy work by providing examples of policy measures drawn from different regions, countries, sectors and development contexts with relevance to the Asia-Pacific region. This guide also includes a number of policy proposals advocated by EBMOs which have not yet been adopted.

  9. 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.

  10. COVID- 19

    Needs assessment survey: The impact of COVID-19 on enterprises

    03 August 2020

    This survey tool has been developed by the ILO Bureau for Employers’ Activities (ILO-ACT/EMP) to help employers and business membership organizations (EBMOs) evaluate the needs of enterprises as a result of on-going COVID-19 crisis. This survey tool is an update to the first one released in March 2020 (see here) and assists EBMOs gain membership insights by assessing priorities and challenges enterprises are facing due to the prolonged crisis situation.