Social dialogue is defined by the ILO to include all types of negotiation, consultation or simply exchange of information between, or among, representatives of governments, employers and workers, on issues of common interest relating to economic and social policy. It can exist as a tripartite process, with the government as an official party to the dialogue or it may consist of bipartite relations only between employers or their organizations and trade unions (or workers' representatives at the level of the undertakings). Social dialogue is both a means to achieve decent work by strengthening democratic decision-making and an end in itself. Although social dialogue practices may differ from country to country, freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining constitute both key prerequisites to effective social dialogue, and fundamental human rights. The main aim of social dialogue is to improve the quality of decisions and policies through the involvement of the main stakeholders in the world of work, notably employers, workers and their representatives. Successful social dialogue institutions and processes have the potential to resolve important economic and social issues, deal with crises -such as COVID-19- encourage good governance and social peace, reduce inequality and promote growth. Social dialogue may take different forms. At national level as well as other levels tripartite dialogue allows government, business and employers and workers and their representatives, to seek solutions on issues of common interest, as equal and independent partners. Collective bargaining allows an employer, or a group of employers, on the one hand, and one or more workers' organizations on the other, to jointly determine working conditions and terms of employment, regulate relations between employers and workers, and/or regulate relations between employers or their organizations and workers' organizations. This unique and distinct form of social dialogue plays a key role in the governance of the labour market. Collective bargaining can takes place at many levels (international, national, sectoral, enterprise or territorial level). At the enterprise level, the interaction between workers' representatives can also take place through workplace cooperation. Workplace cooperation is understood as consultation and cooperation between employers and workers on matters of mutual concern not within the scope of collective bargaining machinery. For example, safety and health committees can play an important role at the workplace. In addition, jointly designed grievance mechanisms can also play a key role in preventing the escalation of conflict and promoting a climate of mutual understanding in the workplace. There is no "one size fits all" model of social dialogue that can be readily exported from one context to another. Indeed, there is a rich diversity in institutional arrangements, legal frameworks, traditions and practices of social dialogue throughout the world. Adapting social dialogue to specific situations is key to ensuring well-adapted solutions which enjoy full ownership by the main labour market actors, as well as sustainability of the process itself. This e-Academy provides a unique opportunity for participants to build knowledge and skills on the different forms of and approaches to social dialogue and industrial relations, and how these can shape effective responses to contemporary global challenges.
The e-Academy is aimed at: - Officials from Ministries of Labour - Officials from other Ministries (Finance, Social Security, Education, Gender, social policies, etc.); - Representatives from employers' organizations; - Representatives from workers' organizations; - Workers' and employers' representatives of works councils and similar institutions at the level of a single undertaking or at corporate group; - Members and staff of national tripartite bodies, and other social dialogue institutions, such as members of the International Association of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions (AICESIS); - Personnel from institutions involved in promoting social dialogue (including academic, research institutions, non-governmental organizations); - ILO officials; - Parliamentarians, community leaders, civil society and other stakeholders in society (e.g. development banks, international financial institutions). Note: As an organization dedicated to fundamental human rights and social justice, the ILO is taking a leading role in international efforts to promote gender equality and non-discrimination. In line with this focus, women candidates and candidates from minority groups are especially welcome.
This e-Academy on Social Dialogue and Industrial Relations will develop participants' knowledge and skills to engage in successful social dialogue at all levels.