R169 Recommendation concerning employment policy
Geneva, 26 giugno 1984
The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,
Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Seventieth Session on 6 June 1984, and
Noting the existing international standards contained in the Employment Policy Convention and Recommendation, 1964, as well as in other international labour instruments relating to certain categories of workers, in particular the Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention and Recommendation, 1981, the Older Workers Recommendation, 1980, the Migration for Employment Convention and Recommendation (Revised), 1949, the Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1975, and the Migrant Workers Recommendation, 1975,
Recalling the responsibility of the International Labour Organisation, resulting from the Declaration of Philadelphia, to examine and consider the bearing of economic and financial policies upon employment policy in the light of the fundamental objective that all human beings, irrespective of race, creed or sex, have the right to pursue both their material well-being and their spiritual development in conditions of freedom and dignity, of economic security and equal opportunity,
Recalling that the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966, provides for the recognition of inter alia the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and for the taking of appropriate steps to achieve progressively the full realisation of, and to safeguard, this right,
Recalling also the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979,
Recognising, in the light of increasing interdependence within the world economy and of low economic growth rates in recent years, the need to coordinate economic, monetary and social policies at the national and international levels, to strive for the reduction of disparities between developed and developing countries and for the establishment of the new international economic order, in order to make the fullest possible use of resources for development and for the creation of employment opportunities, and thus to combat unemployment and underemployment,
Noting the deterioration of employment opportunities in most industrialised and developing countries and expressing the conviction that poverty, unemployment and inequality of opportunity are unacceptable in terms of humanity and social justice, can provoke social tension and thus create conditions which can endanger peace and prejudice the exercise of the right to work, which includes free choice of employment, just and favourable conditions of work and protection against unemployment,
Considering that the Employment Policy Convention and Recommendation, 1964, should be placed in the wider framework of the Declaration of Principles and Programme of Action adopted in 1976 by the Tripartite World Conference on Employment, Income Distribution and Social Progress and the International Division of Labour, and of the resolution concerning follow-up to the World Employment Conference adopted by the International Labour Conference in 1979,
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to employment policy which is the fourth item on the agenda of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of a Recommendation supplementing the Employment Policy Convention and Recommendation, 1964:
adopts this twenty-sixth day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and eighty-four, the following Recommendation, which may be cited as the Employment Policy (Supplementary Provisions) Recommendation, 1984.
I. General Principles of Employment Policy
1. The promotion of full, productive and freely chosen employment provided for in the Employment Policy Convention and Recommendation, 1964, should be regarded as the means of achieving in practice the realisation of the right to work.
2. Full recognition by Members of the right to work should be linked with the implementation of economic and social policies, the purpose of which is the promotion of full, productive and freely chosen employment.
3. The promotion of full, productive and freely chosen employment should be the priority in, and an integral part of, economic and social policies of Members and, where appropriate, their plans for the satisfaction of the basic needs of the population.
4. Members should give special attention to the most efficient means of increasing employment and production and draw up policies and, if appropriate, programmes designed to facilitate the increased production and fair distribution of essential goods and services and the fair distribution of income throughout the country, with a view to satisfying the basic needs of the population in accordance with the Declaration of Principles and Programme of Action of the World Employment Conference.
5. In accordance with national practice, the policies, plans and programmes referred to in Paragraphs 3 and 4 of this Recommendation should be drawn up and implemented in consultation and co-operation with the organisations of employers and workers and other organisations representative of the persons concerned, particularly those in the rural sector covered by the Rural Workers' Organisations Convention and Recommendation, 1975.
6. Economic and financial policies, at both the national and international levels, should reflect the priority to be attached to the goals referred to in Paragraphs 3 and 4 of this Recommendation.
7. The policies, plans and programmes referred to in Paragraphs 3 and 4 of this Recommendation should aim at eliminating any discrimination and ensuring for all workers equal opportunity and treatment in respect of access to employment, conditions of employment, wages and income, vocational guidance and training and career development.
8. Members should take measures to combat effectively illegal employment, that is employment which does not comply with the requirements of national laws, regulations and practice.
9. Members should take measures to enable the progressive transfer of workers from the informal sector, where it exists, to the formal sector to take place.
10. Members should adopt policies and take measures which, while taking account of national law and practice, should:
(a) facilitate adjustment to structural change at the global, sectoral and enterprise levels and the re-employment of workers who have lost their jobs as a result of structural and technological changes; and
(b) safeguard the employment or facilitate the re-employment of workers affected in the case of sale, transfer, closure or relocation of a company, establishment or equipment.
11. In accordance with national law and practice, the methods of giving effect to employment policies might include negotiating collective agreements on questions having a bearing on employment such as:
(a) the promotion and safeguarding of employment;
(b) the economic and social consequences of restructuring and rationalisation of branches of economic activity and undertakings;
(c) the reorganisation and reduction of working time;
(d) the protection of particular groups; and
(e) information on economic, financial and employment issues.
12. Members should, after consultation with the organisations of employers and workers, take effective measures to encourage multinational enterprises to undertake and promote in particular the employment policies set forth in the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, 1977, and to ensure that negative effects of the investments of multinational enterprises on employment are avoided and that positive effects are encouraged.
13. In view of increasing interdependence within the world economy, Members should, in addition to the measures taken at the national level, strengthen international co-operation in order to ensure the success of the fight against unemployment.
II. Population Policy
(1) While ensuring that sufficient employment opportunities exist, development and employment policies might, where appropriate and in accordance with national law and practice, include population policies and programmes designed to ensure promotion of family welfare and family planning through programmes of information and voluntary education on population issues.
(2) Members, particularly developing countries, in collaboration with both national and international non-governmental organisations might:
(a) pay particular attention in their population policies and programmes to educating actual and potential parents on the benefits of family planning;
(b) in rural areas, increase the number of health facilities and community centres offering family planning services and the number of trained personnel to provide these services; and
(c) in urban areas, pay particular attention to the urgent need to develop appropriate infrastructures and improve living conditions, especially in slum areas.
III. Employment of Youth and Disadvantaged Groups and Persons
15. In the context of an overall employment policy, Members should adopt measures to respond to the needs of all categories of persons frequently having difficulties in finding lasting employment, such as certain women, certain young workers, disabled persons, older workers, the long-term unemployed and migrant workers lawfully within their territory. These measures should be consistent with the provisions of international labour Conventions and Recommendations relating to the employment of these groups and with the conditions of employment established under national law and practice.
16. While taking account of national conditions and in accordance with national law and practice, the measures referred to in Paragraph 15 of this Recommendation might include, inter alia:
(a) general education accessible to all and vocational guidance and training programmes to assist these persons to find work and to improve their employment opportunities and their income;
(b) the creation of a training system linked with both the educational system and the world of work;
(c) counselling and employment services to assist individuals to enter the labour market and to help them to find employment which corresponds to their skills and aptitudes;
(d) programmes which create gainful employment in specific regions, areas or sectors;
(e) programmes of adjustment to structural change;
(f) measures of continuing training and retraining;
(g) measures of vocational rehabilitation;
(h) assistance for voluntary mobility; and
(i) programmes for the promotion of self-employment and workers' co-operatives.
(1) Other special measures should be taken for young people. In particular:
(a) public and private institutions and undertakings should be encouraged to engage and to train young people by means appropriate to national conditions and practice;
(b) although priority should be given to integrating young persons into regular employment, special programmes might be set up with a view to employing young people on a voluntary basis for the execution of community projects, in particular local projects having a social character, bearing in mind the provisions of the Special Youth Schemes Recommendation, 1970;
(c) special programmes should be set up in which training and work alternate so as to assist young people in finding their first job;
(d) training opportunities should be adapted to technical and economic development and the quality of training should be improved;
(e) measures should be taken to ease the transition from school to work and to promote opportunities for employment on completion of training;
(f) research on employment prospects should be promoted as a basis for a rational vocational training policy; and
(g) the safety and health of young workers should be protected.
(2) The measures referred to in subparagraph (1) of this Paragraph should be carefully monitored to ensure that they result in beneficial effects on young people's employment.
(3) These measures should be consistent with the provisions of international labour Conventions and Recommendations relating to the employment of young persons and with the conditions of employment established under national law and practice.
18. Incentives appropriate to national conditions and practice might be provided in order to facilitate the implementation of the measures referred to in Paragraphs 15 to 17 of this Recommendation.
19. In accordance with national law and practice, full and timely consultations should be held on the formulation, application and monitoring of the measures and programmes referred to in Paragraphs 15 to 18 of this Recommendation between the competent authorities and the organisations of employers and workers and other organisations concerned.
IV. Technology Policies
20. One of the major elements of national development policy should be to facilitate the development of technology as a means of increasing productive potential and achieving the major development objectives of creation of employment opportunities and the satisfaction of basic needs. Technology policies should, taking into account the stage of economic development, contribute to the improvement of working conditions and reduction of working time, and include measures to prevent loss of jobs.
21. Members should:
(a) encourage research on the selection, adoption and development of new technologies and on their effects on the volume and structure of employment, conditions of employment, training, job content and skill requirements; and
(b) encourage research on the technologies most appropriate to the specific conditions of countries, by ensuring the involvement of independent research institutes.
22. Members should endeavour to ensure by appropriate measures:
(a) that the education and training systems, including schemes for retraining, offer workers sufficient opportunities for adjusting to altered employment requirements resulting from technological change;
(b) that particular attention is given to the best possible use of existing and future skills; and
(c) that negative effects of technological changes on employment, working and living conditions and on occupational safety and health are eliminated to the extent possible, in particular through the incorporation of ergonomic, safety and health considerations at the design stage of new technologies.
23. Members should, through all methods suited to national conditions and practice, promote the use of appropriate new technologies and assure or improve liaison and consultation between the different units and organisations concerned with these questions and the representative organisations of employers and workers.
24. The organisations of employers and workers concerned and undertakings should be encouraged to assist in the dissemination of general information on technological choices, in the promotion of technological linkages between large-scale and small-scale undertakings and in the setting up of relevant training programmes.
25. In accordance with national practice, Members should encourage employers' and workers' organisations to enter into collective agreements at national, sectoral or undertaking levels on the social consequences of the introduction of new technologies.
26. Members should, as far as possible and in accordance with national law and practice, encourage undertakings, when introducing into their operations technological changes which are liable to have major effects upon workers in the undertaking:
(a) to associate workers and/or their representatives in the planning, introduction and use of new technologies, that is to inform them of the opportunities offered by and the effects of such new technologies and to consult them in advance with a view to arriving at agreements;
(b) to promote a better organisation of working time and a better distribution of employment;
(c) to prevent and mitigate to the greatest extent practicable any adverse effects of the technological changes on workers; and
(d) to promote investments in technology that would encourage, directly or indirectly, the creation of employment and contribute to a progressive increase in production and the satisfaction of the basic needs of the population.
V. Informal Sector
(1) National employment policy should recognise the importance as a provider of jobs of the informal sector, that is economic activities which are carried on outside the institutionalised economic structures.
(2) Employment promotion programmes should be elaborated and implemented to encourage family work and independent work in individual workshops, both in urban and rural areas.
28. Members should take measures to promote complementary relationships between the formal and informal sectors and to provide greater access of undertakings in the informal sector to resources, product markets, credit, infrastructure, training facilities, technical expertise and improved technologies.
(1) While taking measures to increase employment opportunities and improve conditions of work in the informal sector, Members should seek to facilitate its progressive integration into the national economy.
(2) Members should take into account that integration of the informal sector into the formal sector may reduce its ability to absorb labour and generate income. Nevertheless, they should seek progressively to extend measures of regulation to the informal sector.
VI. Small Undertakings
30. National employment policy should take account of the importance of small undertakings as providers of jobs, and recognise the contribution of local employment creation initiatives to the fight against unemployment and to economic growth. These undertakings, which can take diverse forms, such as small traditional undertakings, co-operatives and associations, offer employment opportunities, especially for workers who have particular difficulties.
31. After consultation and in co-operation with employers' and workers' organisations, Members should take the necessary measures to promote complementary relationships between the undertakings referred to in Paragraph 30 of this Recommendation and other undertakings, to improve working conditions in these undertakings, and to improve their access to product markets, credit, technical expertise and advanced technology.
VII. Regional Development Policies
32. In accordance with national law and practice, Members should recognise the importance of balanced regional development as a means of mitigating the social and employment problems created by the unequal distribution of natural resources and the inadequate mobility of the means of production, and of correcting the uneven spread of growth and employment between regions and areas within a country.
33. Measures should be taken, after consultation and in co-operation with the representatives of the populations concerned and in particular with the organisations of employers and workers, with a view to promoting employment in underdeveloped or backward areas, declining industrial and agricultural areas, frontier zones and, in general, parts of the country which have not benefited satisfactorily from national development.
34. Taking account of national conditions and of each Member's plans and programmes, the measures referred to in Paragraph 33 of this Recommendation might include, inter alia:
(a) creating and developing growth poles and growth centres with good prospects for generating employment;
(b) developing and intensifying regional potential taking into account the human and natural resources of each region and the need for coherent and balanced regional development;
(c) expanding the number and size of medium-sized and small towns in order to counterbalance the growth of large cities;
(d) improving the availability and distribution of and access to essential services required for meeting basic needs;
(e) encouraging the voluntary mobility of workers within each region and between different regions of the country by appropriate social welfare measures, while making an effort to promote satisfactory living and working conditions in their areas of origin;
(f) investing in improvements to the regional infrastructures, services and administrative structures, including the allocation of the necessary staff and the provision of training and retraining opportunities; and
(g) promoting the participation of the community in the definition and implementation of regional development measures.
VIII. Public Investment and Special Public Works Programmes
35. Members might implement economically and socially viable public investment and special public works programmes, particularly with a view to creating and maintaining employment and raising incomes, reducing poverty and better meeting basic needs in areas of widespread unemployment and underemployment. Such programmes should, where possible and appropriate:
(a) pay special attention to the creation of employment opportunities for disadvantaged groups;
(b) include rural and urban infrastructure projects as well as the construction of facilities for basic-needs satisfaction in rural, urban and suburban areas, and increased productive investments in sectors such as energy and telecommunications;
(c) contribute to raising the standard of social services in fields such as education and health;
(d) be designed and implemented within the framework of development plans where they exist and in consultation with the organisations of employers and workers concerned;
(e) identify the persons whom the programmes are to benefit, determine the available manpower and define the criteria for project selection;
(f) ensure that workers are recruited on a voluntary basis;
(g) ensure that manpower is not diverted from other productive activities;
(h) provide conditions of employment consistent with national law and practice, and in particular with legal provisions governing access to employment, hours of work, remuneration, holidays with pay, occupational safety and health and compensation for employment injuries; and
(i) facilitate the vocational training of workers engaged in such programmes as well as the retraining of those who, because of structural changes in production and employment, have to change their jobs.
IX. International Economic Co-Operation and Employment
36. Members should promote the expansion of international trade in order to help one another to attain employment growth. To this end, they should co-operate in international bodies which are engaged in facilitating sustainable and mutually beneficial increases in international trade, technical assistance and investment.
37. Bearing in mind their responsibilities in relation to other competent international bodies Members should, with a view to ensuring the effectiveness of employment policies, adopt the following objectives:
(a) to promote the growth of production and world trade in conditions of economic stability and growing employment, within the context of international co-operation for development and on the basis of equality of rights and mutual advantage;
(b) to recognise that the interdependence between States, resulting from the increasing integration of the world economy, should help to create a climate in which States can, wherever appropriate, define joint policies designed to promote a fair distribution of the social costs and benefits of structural adjustment as well as a fairer international distribution of income and wealth, in such a way as to enable developing countries to absorb the increase in their labour force, and the developed countries to raise their levels of employment and reduce the adjustment cost for the workers concerned;
(c) to co-ordinate national policies concerning trade and structural change and adjustment so as to make possible a greater participation of developing countries in world industrial production within an open and fair world trading system, to stabilise commodity prices at remunerative levels which are acceptable to both producers and consumers, and to encourage investment in the production and processing of commodities in developing countries;
(d) to encourage the peaceful resolution of disputes among nations and negotiated arms reduction agreements which will achieve security for all nations, as well as the progressive transfer of expenditure on armaments and the reconversion of the armaments industry to the production of essential goods and services, especially those which satisfy the basic needs of the population and the needs of developing countries;
(e) to seek agreement on concerted action at the international level with a view to improving the international economic system, especially in the financial sphere, so as to promote employment in developed as well as developing countries;
(f) to increase mutual economic and technical co-operation, especially between countries at different levels of economic development and with different social and economic systems, through exchange of experience and the development of complementary capacities, particularly in the fields of employment and human resources and the choice, development and transfer of technology in accordance with mutually accepted law and practice concerning private property rights;
(g) to create conditions for sustained, non-inflationary growth of the world economy, and for the establishment of an improved international monetary system which would lead to the establishment of the new international economic order; and
(h) to ensure greater stability in exchange rates, a reduction of the debt burden of developing countries, the provision of long-term, low-cost financial assistance to developing countries and the adoption of adjustment policies which promote employment and the satisfaction of basic needs.
38. Members should:
(a) promote the transfer of technologies with a view to enabling developing countries to adopt, on fair and reasonable commercial terms, those which are most appropriate for the promotion of employment and the satisfaction of basic needs; and
(b) take appropriate measures for the creation and maintenance of employment and for the provision of training and retraining opportunities. Such measures might include the establishment of national, regional or international readjustment funds for the purpose of assisting in the positive adjustment of industries and workers affected by changes in the world economy.
X. International Migration and Employment
39. Members, taking account of international labour Conventions and Recommendations on migrant workers, should, where international migration takes place, adopt policies designed:
(a) to create more employment opportunities and better conditions of work in countries of emigration so as to reduce the need to migrate to find employment; and
(b) to ensure that international migration takes place under conditions designed to promote full, productive and freely chosen employment.
40. Members which habitually or repeatedly admit significant numbers of foreign workers with a view to employment should, when such workers come from developing countries, endeavour to co-operate more fully in the development of such countries, by appropriate intensified capital movements, the expansion of trade, the transfer of technical knowledge and assistance in the vocational training of local workers, in order to establish an effective alternative to migration for employment and to assist the countries in question in improving their economic and employment situation.
41. Members which habitually or repeatedly experience significant outflows of their nationals for the purpose of employment abroad should, provided that such measures are not inconsistent with the right of everyone to leave any country including his own, take measures by means of legislation, agreements with employers' and workers' organisations, or in any other manner consistent with national conditions and practice, to prevent malpractices at the stage of recruitment or departure liable to result in illegal entry to, or stay or employment in, another country.
42. Developing emigration countries, in order to facilitate the voluntary return of their nationals who possess scarce skills, should:
(a) provide the necessary incentives; and
(b) enlist the co-operation of the countries employing their nationals as well as of the International Labour Office and other international or regional bodies concerned with the matter.
43. Members, both countries of employment and countries of origin, should take appropriate measures to:
(a) prevent abuse in the recruitment of labour for work abroad;
(b) prevent the exploitation of migrant workers; and
(c) ensure the full exercise of the rights to freedom of association and to organise and bargain collectively.
44. Members, both countries of employment and countries of origin, should, when it is necessary, taking fully into account existing international labour Conventions and Recommendations on migrant workers, conclude bilateral and multilateral agreements covering issues such as right of entry and stay, the protection of rights resulting from employment, the promotion of education and training opportunities for migrant workers, social security, and assistance to workers and members of their families wishing to return to their country of origin.
• C97 Convenzione sui lavoratori migranti, 1 luglio 1949
• C122 Convenzione sulla politica dell’impiego, 9 luglio 1964
• C141 Convenzione concernente le organizzazioni di lavoratori agricoli ed il ruolo nello sviluppo economico e sociale, 23 giugno 1975
• C143 Convenzione sulle migrazioni in condizioni abusive e sulla promozione della parità di opportunità e di trattamento dei lavoratori migranti, 24 giugno 1975
• C156 Convention concerning Equal Opportunities and Equal Treatment for Men and Women Workers: Workers with Family Responsibilities, 23 giugno 1981
• R86 Raccomandazione sui lavoratori migranti, 1 luglio 1949
• R122 Recommendation concerning Employment Policy, 9 luglio 1964
• R136 Recommendation concerning Special Youth Employment and Training Schemes for Development Purposes, 23 giugno 1970
• R151 Recommendation concerning Migrant Workers, 24 giugno 1975
• R162 Recommendation concerning Older Workers, 23 giugno 1980
• R165 Recommendation concerning Equal Opportunities and Equal Treatment for Men and Women Workers: Workers with Family Responsibilities, 23 giugno 1981