BRICS Labour and Employment Ministers’ Meeting (LEMM) was officially opened on August 2 in Durban. The meeting was addressed by the government, business and trade union representatives of South Africa, as well as deputy ministers of labour of Namibia and Swaziland, countries invited by the host country to participate in the BRICS events as observers.
The session was also addressed by the honoured guests – Mr. Guy Ryder, Director General of the ILO, and Mr. Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, Secretary General of the International Social Security Association (ISSA).
After the opening statements were alternately made by the Ministers of labour and employment the floor was given to the social partner representatives with whom the ministers later had consultations with the social partners on the further development of social dialogue and concretisation of the tripartite cooperation within BRICS.
On the final day of the ministerial meeting the ILO and ISSA offered a number of thematic presentations on youth employment, decent work and economic growth (in particular, on women's participation in the labour market and equal pay for the work of equal value), as well as on social dialogue and social protection. However, no provision was made for the participation of social partners in this part of the agenda.
The ministerial Declaration adopted as the outcome of the meeting reflected some of the proposals discussed during BRICS Trade Union Forum and included in its final document.
In particular, the ministers committed themselves to explore together with the social partners the opportunities for strengthening social dialogue and labour management systems, for making the process of collective bargaining in BRICS countries more inclusive through the involvement of the most vulnerable groups such as youth, women and people with disabilities.
In the concluding section of the Declaration, the ministers thanked the social partners for their valuable contribution to the solution of labour and employment problems and pledged to strengthen tripartite social dialogue in order to facilitate the development of labour market and improve its functioning.
The three-year plan for the implementation of BRICS EWG decisions (2019-2021) included measures to coordinate cooperation among social partners and the development of social dialogue and collective bargaining, namely:
- strengthening of the tripartite dialogue to promote labour market development;
- development of the social partners’ technical capacities;
- adaptation of various strategies to national conditions;
- improvement of labour legislation in BRICS countries;
- strengthening of labour inspections and labour protection systems.
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