New Delhi, 14 June, 2015 (ISSME): The International Labour Organization (ILO) at its 104th International Labour Conference adopted this landmark recommendation on June 12, 2015, which is expected to help millions of workers and economic units move out of informality. This first ever international labour standard was passed with 484 votes in its favour and resounding support from ILO’s tripartite constituents, i.e. government, employer and worker.
The standard acknowledges that informality is not a choice, rather out of compulsion to earn their living in the absence of any other opportunity most people enter into the informal economy. This is most prevalent in developing economies which is a matter of interest for almost 50% of the global workforce and 91% of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and even greater proportion of micro enterprises. The standard, therefore, would not only help in decent work for millions but also in creating sustainable enterprises as well as eradicate poverty and reduce inequality in the world.
The standard has a three-fold approach fulfilling the common interest of ILO’s tripartite constituents: firstly, to increase workers’ welfare and reduce decent work deficits; secondly, to reduce unfair competition between enterprises; and thirdly, to protect and expand public revenues to build national social protection systems.
The standard forms the first international framework, which provides strategies and practical guidance on policies and measures that can facilitate the transition from the informal to the formal economy. Speaking on the occasion, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said “It is not just the adoption of this Recommendation, it’s actually putting it into practice that will matter.” The recommendation is highly significant in terms of its usefulness towards inclusive development, poverty eradication, reducing inequalities and decent work for all in the context of the new post-2015 development agenda.