Labour administration, labour inspection and the ILO-current regulatory perspectives Giuseppe Casale Director, LAB/ADMIN Labour Administration and Inspection Programme ILO, Geneva http://www.ilo.org/labadmin
Background • Labour administration and labour inspection general item on the agenda of the 100th ILC (June, 2011). • Last discussions in 1973 (Experts’ meeting), 1978 (Adoption of Convention No. 150), 1997 (LA General Survey) and 2006 (LI General Survey). • Recent crisis has highlighted the role of LA, but debt crisis and austerity measures challenge its future. • Substantial differences between regions, sub-regions and countries. • Increased expectations, but funds limited.
ILO concept of labour administration • LA: all public bodies involved in labour policy. • ILO and Labour Administration. • ILO and Labour Inspection. • Social Partners and Labour Administration.
International Labour Standards • Historically, labour inspectorates among the first labour institutions • Founding of the ILO (1919), creation of Ministries of Labour • Labour Inspection Recommendation, 1923 (No. 20) • Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81) • Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention, 1969 (No. 129) • Labour Administration Convention, 1978 (No. 150) • Protocol of 1995 to the Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 • Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155) • Promotional Framework for OSH Convention, 2006 (No. 187)
Relationship between institutions and policies • At the international level, institutions often considered secondary, as if they only reflect policies, yet they also shape them. • One question is how formal policy reforms (changes in institutional set-up) create: a) deliberate policy changes; and b) indirect and unintended effects? • For example, policy impact of changing mandates of labour ministries (employment agendas, vocational training, labour migration…). • Effects (and risks) of “agencification”, decentralization and outsourcing of core services… • Delicate balance between policy making and service delivery.
New operating conditions • Difficult economic environment: high and persistent unemployment, increased inequality and austerity measures. • Key issue of compliance because of diversified labour force as well as multiplicity of employment relationships, informal economy. • Democratic reforms, spread of market economy and need of policy coordination: the role of regional groupings and of global players (ILO, WB, IMF, OECD). • More transparency: increased interest in governance. • More pragmatic political thinking in some quarters. • Recent crisis, an opportunity to create and adapt policies and institutions.
Main themes of the ILC Report • Policy making capacity of labour administration and its role in national development. • Modernisation of labour administration in the post-crisis environment. • Labour Inspection: Trends and Challenges.
Policy making capacity • Place of MoL within the Government and within the national labour administration system. • Historically, a specific mandate: protective legislation and promoter of sound labour relations. • More involvement in employment and macro-economic policies after WWII. • Today, what is the impact of MoL on government policies to make them employment-centred? • What is the range of MoL? what are the factors of influence? • Revisited mandate: strategic and coordination capability, institutional capacity, co-operation with E/W organizations.
Policy making capacity (contd.) • Mandate: important recent changes and organizational “experiments”. • Coordination through policy documents and through coordination organisms, including economic and social councils and similar bodies. • Institutional capacity: budgetary allocations, human resources, material equipment, and working with data and appropriate internal structures. • Even if not directly comparable, there are substantial gaps between regions. • Gaps between policy strategies, laws and reality. • Focus on better use of existing resources, but critical mass necessary to make an impact. • Co-operation with W/E organizations: asset of MoL. Political links and joint interests, but also working relationship, provision of data and other services. • Right balance between protection and developmental role.
The performance of labour administration • Paradox of increasing expectations and budgetary constraints: do better with existing resources. Large scope for improving governance. • Two approaches to better performance: traditional methods based on better control and on the promotion of traditional public sector values or the use of private sector methods. • New Public Management (NPM) since the 1990s: incentives to managers to make decisions and allocate resources to produce better outcomes. • Management by objectives (MBO): establishing long-term objectives and more concrete outputs (goods and services) and outcomes (impacts).
The performance of labour administration (contd.) • Performance contracts as a link between achievements of organizations, its units and individuals (contractualism). Importance of qualitative indicators. • Evaluation of policies: objective and systematic assessment is needed. • Performance related pay compared to centrally established and incremental salary scales with promotion as the main incentive. Mixed results: increased motivation, but also undermined morale, jealousies and reduced cooperation. • Preconditions in terms of a mature, trust-based service culture are necessary.
The performance of labour administration (contd.) • Public-public partnership necessary taking into account the multi-disciplinary character of labour policy and the involvement of various public bodies. • For examples: job-creation programmes; sharing data-bases; cooperation of various inspection bodies and the regulation of labour migration. • Public-private partnership in various fields of social services, job brokering, vocational training, research... • Requirements in terms of monitoring, evaluation, guarantee of individual rights, etc. • Appropriate managerial structures/methods in labour administration. The issue of managerial support services. • Human resources management: effects of fair salaries, training, proper career planning and staff stability. The issue of political and administrative appointments.
The performance of labour administration (contd.) • Use of new technologies: • Widespread of computers and of internet: potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of labour administration (e.g. raising awareness, dissemination of information, transparent and consultative policy making). • Adoption of new technologies remains extremely uneven between countries. • Challenges for developing countries: inadequate financial resources, underdeveloped ICT infrastructure, lack of expertise and literacy levels. Basic administrative reforms may be more efficient than ambitious investments in ICT. • Large and effective uses of simple tools adapted to country’s technological development (e.g. mobile phones).
The performance of labour administration (contd.) • A case study: modernization of PES. • PES given a pre-eminent role, not only in delivery of services, but also in developing and testing employment programmes. Consequently, under pressure to make their services more efficient. • Institutional changes to achieve better coherence between active and passive labour policies. Integration of placement services and unemployment benefit administration. • Better use of new technologies (internet, on-line service and data management). • Customer service orientation. • Sophisticated indicators in performance measurement. • Delivery of services outsourced in some countries (Australia, Netherlands, UK): mixed results. What is the impact on employment policies?
Labour Inspection: Trends and Challenges • LI – essential part of the labour administration system exercising the fundamental function of law compliance. • Fundamentally, a public responsibility; the risk that private initiatives (e.g. CSR) could undermine the role of national inspectorates. • Significant role of social partners: advocacy, awareness raising and strategic planning. • Collaboration with other stakeholders (police, social security services, tax agencies, etc.) can improve its effectiveness.
Labour Inspection: Trends and Challenges (contd.) • Traditional and new challenges. • Poor conditions in most developing countries threatening integrity and independence of the staff. • Informal economy, domestic work, undeclared work (e.g. construction, agriculture). • Regulation and prevention of child labour. • Discrimination issues: gender, HIV/AIDS, race, national extraction, etc.
Labour Inspection: Trends and Challenges (contd.) • Necessity to adapt to the changing world of work. • New inspection skills and strategies for prevention needed (complexity of industrial processes, new illnesses, mental stress, outsourcing, complex supply chains). • Improved data collection, use of special inspectors, involvement of social partners and media. • Cost cutting efforts of enterprises during the crisis: inspection’s focus on wage payments and working time arrangements. • Fight against undeclared work: inspection in specific sectors, strengthening of sanctions, promotional campaigns.
Labour Inspection: Trends and Challenges (contd.) • Improving administrative and legal means of action. • Planning programming and reporting. Standardized administrative reports necessary. Management training of inspectors. • Involvement of social partners at the national level to encourage more targeted action (OSH issues). • Sanctions and remedies to fit a country’s regulatory and economic conditions. • Timely judicial proceedings and due process. • However, deterrence measures alone are not enough: a good mix of prevention and sanction to be employed, including self-assessments and monitoring measures.