Fundamentals of labour administration
In the context of the Global Jobs Pact adopted by the ILO in June 2009, the strengthening of labour administration is a core objective in the promotion of sound and efficient economic and social policies at both international and national levels. Current challenges such as the crisis in employment require the adoption and implementation of responsive and efficient labour policies that can be put into practice through well-coordinated and efficiently operating labour administration machinery, including viable labour ministries, effective employment services, adequate information and proper consultation of social partners.
Labour administration has been on the ILO agenda ever since the organization was founded 90 years ago. The creation of the ILO in 1919 led to the formation in many countries of ministries of labour, which went on to play a pivotal role within the broad framework of promoting good governance, shaping government activity on various levels. More recently, in the last two decades labour ministries in many countries have responded to contemporary challenges by formulating employment policies, providing employment services, building consensus on emerging labour issues, putting in place effective labour inspection systems and promoting sound labour–management relations. There is no doubt that the development of labour administration has been strongly influenced by international labour standards as embodied in the ILO Conventions and Recommendations.
The ILO has a long-standing commitment to strengthening labour ministries with the overall goal of enabling them to make significant inputs into broader economic and social policy-making as well as carrying out their regular functions with greater efficiency and impact. Labour ministries are the main interlocutors between the ILO and the governments of its member States. The ILO relies on the labour administration in each country, as well as the social partners, to highlight the importance of the ratification and implementation of international labour standards. At the national level, the labour ministry has the main responsibility for ensuring that the social partners have a place in policy-making and are recognized by government as major interlocutors. Today, the labour administration finds itself at the centre of the challenges and constraints resulting from the rapid changes affecting the world of work. (extracted from the Preface)