GENEVA (ILO News) – ILO Director-General Guy Ryder has welcomed the Declaration by G20 Labour and Employment ministers , committing to human-centred future of work policy priorities focused on demographic change, gender equality and women’s empowerment, responding to new forms of work, and adapting to demographic change and longer working lives.
“The G20 clearly recognizes the urgency of addressing the multitude of challenges we face in this rapidly changing world of work. The commitment to adopting human-centred policies for the promotion of decent work is key,” said Ryder.
The Declaration, adopted at the end of a two-day meeting in Japan, which Ryder attended, recognizes the need for “policies for strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive economic growth, social inclusion, full and productive employment, and decent work” in order to shape “a human-centred future of work.”
A strong focus in discussions was the need for policies that enable and encourage workers to exercise choices and preferences over the course of a multi-stage working life with multiple transitions. This includes promoting flexible retirement, encouraging employers to retain and hire older workers and making the transition from work to retirement easier. The commitment in the statement to such work arrangements reflects one of the main recommendations of the ILO Global Commission Report on the Future of Work , which was published in January 2019, at the start of the ILO’s Centenary Year .
Issues linked to the care sector, including its job creation potential and the need to address major gender imbalances, were also an important part of discussions at the meeting in Matsuyama, which took place on 1–2 September. Provision of long-term care is a major issue in G20 countries that face a rapidly ageing population.
“We welcome the G20’s recognition of the importance of formalizing long-term care employment, improving working conditions and promoting care workers’ fundamental principles and rights at work,“ said Ryder. “The care economy can create millions of decent jobs. Society needs these decent jobs to care for the increasing numbers of seniors and by creating them we also improve the quality of care provided.”
The ministers also acknowledged the contribution to gender equality of the ILO’s Violence and Harassment Convention 2019 (No. 190) , which was adopted at the Centenary International Labour Conference (ILC) in June. The statement also calls for the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work , also adopted at the ILC, to be taken into account by G20 member countries.