For more than two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected economies and labour markets around the world. Following a deep recession in 2020, recovery stalled during 2021 due to new variants and the need for continuing lockdown measures to contain the virus. At the start of 2022, there is now evidence of a much stronger recovery in advanced economies, where, in some cases, labour market deficits have declined significantly. At the same time, in many developing countries the deficits in terms of unemployment, inactivity, underemployment and informality persist. Many of the hard-hit groups, in particular women, youth and informal workers, still face major challenges. Overall, the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in deeper inequalities within and between countries. While policy responses over 2020-21 were substantial, significant gaps exist in the poorest countries, which are being further challenged by rising debt levels and inflation. Without concerted action by governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations and the international community, the effects of the crisis will continue well beyond the pandemic itself, with deep implications for the achievement of social justice and decent work for all. Against this background, in June 2021 government, employer and worker delegates from 181 countries unanimously adopted a global Call to Action for a Human-centred Recovery from the COVID-19 Crisis that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient. This Call constitutes a clear commitment to full, productive and freely chosen employment and decent work, meeting the needs of the most vulnerable and hardest-hit by the pandemic and supporting sustainable jobs and incomes as central to the strategies for building forward better from the crisis. In this context, gender-responsive national employment policies have a critical role to play in supporting a human-centred recovery. Based on the Employment Policy Convention, 1964 (No. 122), the ILO’s approach provides a well-tested and robust comprehensive policy framework, involving social partners and other key stakeholders in formulating concerted actions and consensus-building measures through social dialogue. COVID-19 employment recovery strategies need to encompass responses across macroeconomic and sectoral policies, sustainable enterprise development, social protection and skills-development policies, as well as labour-market policies and institutional solutions. Considering future of work trends, which have been accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis, policy responses need to address the impact of digitalization and climate change in working towards the goal of a just transition. Greater emphasis must be placed on the implementation of these policies to ensure that objectives are translated into results. In response to requests from ILO constituents to strengthen the role of gender-responsive national employment policies for promoting a human-centred recovery, the Employment Policy and Analysis Programme of the ITCILO and the Employment Policy Department of the ILO are joining forces to organize this course.
The course targets senior government officials of ministries of employment/labour, economy, finance and planning, and line ministries; representatives of workers’ and employers’ organizations, experts and technical staff, including from development partners, working in the field of employment and labour market policy. A gender-balanced participation is sought.