For over 20 years, Clarkslegal has been an integral part of the UK delegation to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the United Nations agency which sets international labour standards and monitors compliance with them.
Our role is to support the CBI as it represents UK employers in this vital work. Lawyers from the firm attend two-week sessions of the International Labour Conference, where the agenda on employment practices which countries are expected to follow is hammered out by discussion and debate between governments, employers’ organisations and workers’ organisations.
This gives Clarkslegal unique insight into global horizons that can be expected to affect UK employers, as new international law is often translated into changes in domestic legislation. With the UK in new trading arrangements, this is increasingly important because trade agreements include requirements to comply with ILO labour standards.
This year, the urgent item on the agenda of the ILO was on COVID-19. After 2 weeks of intensive negotiations, the ILO has agreed a recovery and improvement plan for labour markets around the world.
It includes proposals like job retention and active labour market policies to make work as inclusive, rewarding and productive as possible. In the UK, the furlough scheme is a great example of policy designed by government, businesses and workers to protect all forms of work in the formal economy through the pandemic.
The ILO plan rightly focuses on building forward better in a resilient way, helping less-developed economies transition away from informal work and prioritising skills and opportunities for those entering the working world.
For further information on strategic and international employment matters, please contact our employment team.