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.


  1. Database on social dialogue institutions

  2. Database on transnational company agreements

    This database is the result of the cooperation between the International Labour Organisation and the European Commission. 

    The database contains all transnational company agreements and texts identified and catalogued by the ILO and the European Commission. It contains European and international agreements, as well as sheets with details on every company and agreement.

Focus on

  1. 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. 

  1. Policy Brief

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

    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.

Featured publications

  1. Are social pacts still viable in today’s world of work?

    October 2018

    This study examines the role of social pacts, from the early 1970s to the present day, in promoting economic growth and equitable distribution, as illustrated by national case studies from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. 

  2. Working paper

    Institutional Underpinnings of the Minimum Wage Fixing Machinery: The Role of Social Dialogue

    September 2018

    This paper provides an overview of how social dialogue is used in minimum wage-setting machineries around the world. 

  3. Towards the universal ratification of Convention n°144 on Tripartite Consultation by the ILO centenary in 2019

    Mai 2018

  4. GUIDE

    Voice Matters: Consultation (Industrial and National Levels) Recommendation, 1960 (No. 113)

    November 2017


  5. DIALOGUE in brief: Transition to Formality: The Critical role of Social Dialogue

    March 2017

    This first issue in the new series “Dialogue in Brief” examines the critical role of social dialogue in supporting the transition from the informal to the formal economy.

  6. Talking through the crisis: Social dialogue and industrial relations trends in selected EU countries

    February 2017