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ILO - International Labour Organization : ILO launches book on labour administration in times of crisis

11/21/2013 | 05:04am EDT

GENEVA - The global economic crisis has had a strong impact on labour administration systems around the world, catalysing a re-evaluation of established policies and institutions in the areas of labour, employment, social protection and industrial relations, according to a new ILO book titled "Labour administration in Uncertain Times: Policy, Practice and Institutions".

"The book looks at recent reforms in these areas, charting their development and discussing the challenges and opportunities faced by governments and, more specifically, by labour ministries, labour inspectorates and public employment services since the start of the crisis," says Ludek Rychly, ILO Labour Administration specialist and co-editor of the book with Jason Heyes.

"It also reveals an astonishing gap between the institutional capacities of labour administrations in developed and developing countries," he adds.

One of the book's main findings is that massive cuts in government spending have led to the down-sizing of labour administration systems in many countries. This in turn has resulted in greater specialization, decentralization and outsourcing of services.

"More significantly, ministries of labour tend to lose authority when labour issues are subordinated to governments' economic objectives, and when governments seek to strengthen the link between benefit entitlements and labour market participation," the book says.

The study, which draws upon new and original research, contains a number of key messages for policy-makers.

For example, it highlights the role of labour ministries vis-a-vis workers' and employers' organizations, and defends their existence as specific government departments.

It also stresses the need to reform labour legislation in order to cover all forms of employment relationships, as well as the need to overcome the non-compliance of labour laws by modernizing labour inspection.

Finally, it is essential to strengthen the institutional capacities of labour administration systems by improving their methods of governance and, in many cases, by increasing their budgets and by giving higher priority to labour-related programmes.

The book includes contributions from university researchers and ILO officials, and therefore blends insights from academic research and direct practical experience.

The term labour administration systems, as defined by the ILO's Labour Administration Convention, 1978 (No. 150), refers to all public administration bodies responsible for and/or engaged in labour administration". Labour administration refers to the preparation, administration, coordination, checking and reviewing of national labour policy.

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© Publicnow 2013
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