Tripartism and social dialogue

Sound industrial relations and effective social dialogue are a means to promote better wages and working conditions as well as peace and social justice. As instruments of good governance they foster cooperation and economic performance, helping to create an enabling environment for the realization of the objective of Decent Work at the national level.

Social dialogue and tripartism covers:
  • Negotiation, consultation and information exchange between and among the different actors;
  • Collective bargaining;
  • Dispute prevention and resolution; and
  • Other instruments of social dialogue, including corporate social responsibility and international framework agreements.
Preconditions for sound social dialogue:
  • Strong, independent workers' and employers' organizations with the technical capacity and access to relevant information to participate in social dialogue;
  • Political will and commitment to engage in social dialogue on the part of all the parties;
  • Respect for the fundamental rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining; and
  • An enabling legal and institutional framework.
How the ILO helps:
The ILO aims to assist member States in establishing or strengthening legal frameworks, institutions, machinery or processes for sound industrial relations and effective social dialogue in member States. It also aims to promote social dialogue among member States and regional or subregional groupings as means of consensus building, economic and social development, and good governance. It supports the development of knowledge on global industrial relations, in particular the actors and institutions involved in cross-border social dialogue and agreements.

Focus on

  1. Survey

    Experts, civil society representatives including workers’ and employers’ organizations, and policy-makers from the European Union and Southern Mediterranean Countries are invited to make their voices heard through a survey addressing a renewed partnership between the European Union and its southern neighbours. Survey closes on 22 January 2021. Click here to participate in the survey.

  1. Policy brief

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

  2. Policy Brief

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

    May 2020

Featured publications

  1. Q&A

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

  2. Policy brief

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

  3. Spotlight COVID-19

    The role of social dialogue in formulating social protection responses to the COVID-19 crisis

    The principles of tripartism and social dialogue are key for social protection development, reforms and governance. Social dialogue and consultations with social partners and other stakeholders are particularly important for devising coordinated policy responses, including to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  4. Thematic Brief

    Social Dialogue for the Transition from the Informal to the Formal Economy

    Social dialogue has a vital role to play in supporting the transition from the informal to the formal economy. Drawing on case studies from around the world, this Global Deal thematic brief illustrates how social dialogue, involving governments and representative employers’ and workers’ organizations has, in different ways and at different levels, contributed to the transition to formality and the reduction of decent work deficits in the informal economy. It aims to assist all concerned stakeholders to apply social dialogue for the design and implementation of effective formalization strategies, in the context of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 and the relevant international labour standards.

  5. Working Paper

    The Effectiveness of National Social Dialogue Institutions From Theory to Evidence

    This paper analyses the effectiveness of National Social Dialogue Institutions (NSDIs). The study evaluates how and when NSDIs prove less effective than they should in performing their tasks, how to measure such effectiveness, and how to improve their operational capacity and impact.