ILO, Armenian Government Discuss Measures to Address COVID-19 Pandemic

On May 5, an online discussion was conducted between the ILO Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of Armenia to discuss ILO-Armenia cooperation in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

News | 05 May 2020
Ms Olga Koulaeva, Director of the ILO Office, ILO technical specialists, ILO National Coordinator for Armenia participated in the discussion. Mr Arman Udumyan, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs and Mr Jora Sargsyan, Head of Labour and Employment Department, represented the Ministry.
Mr Udumyan expressed appreciation to the ILO Office for its continuous support and for organizing this virtual meeting. He then presented measures undertaken by the Armenian Government to address the pandemic.

Mr Udumyan outlined the main areas and activities where the Government would like to request ILO’s technical assistance. These include  design of relevant Active Labour Market Policy programmes for COVID-19; provide the methodology for rapid assessment of the pandemic impact on the labour market; possible review of the National Employment Strategy in line with new challenges and situation; raising effectiveness of the State Employment Agency; capacity building of employers on occupational safety and health (OSH) issues, in close cooperation with the Republican Union of Employers (RUEA); and collaboration in the labour rights area.

Arman Udumyan, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs of Armenia

Referring to the Ministry’s proposals, Ms Olga Koulaeva said that the ILO had developed a set of tools to support the countries in overcoming the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. She reiterated ILO Moscow Office commitment to provide continuous support to the Armenian Government and social partners in this challenging period.

ILO Moscow technical specialists presented concrete initiatives and activities to respond to the Ministry’s request.

The discussion covered a wide range of issues including  integration of social assistance and labour market programmes, strengthening the capacity of the State Employment Agency, providing effective social protection services, unemployment insurance and possible reintroduction of unemployment benefits, guidelines and services to be provided through employers’ and workers’ associations, measures related to occupational safety and health and relevant state body’s operation as well as labour rights’ violation issues.

The parties stressed the importance of social dialogue and involvement of social partners in both the discussions of the measures and initiatives of the Government as well as in capacity building activities.

It was agreed that the ILO would organize a series of webinars on employment, addressed both to a broad audience and specifically to the Ministry and State Employment Agency staff. The ILO will share its methodology for rapid assessment of the labour market impact for the Ministry feedback. Series of OSH training courses will be organized, also using the RUEA capacity and in cooperation with the Health and Labour Inspection Body.