Excellence in administration

  • ISSA Guidelines:
  • Promotion of Sustainable Employment

Excellence in administration

  • ISSA Guidelines:
  • Promotion of Sustainable Employment

Promotion of Sustainable Employment -
Objectives of the ISSA Guidelines on the Promotion of Sustainable Employment

Member organizations of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) that are involved in the management of unemployment insurance and assistance schemes, either directly or indirectly, comprise a broad and diverse group of social security institutions. Many of these organizations are having to respond to the new and significant challenges mentioned above and constantly adapt to changes and transformations in the labour market. These challenges have led many to develop specific approaches to better address the needs of employers, workers and the unemployed and to offer career support, training and development integration or reintegration services and benefits ensuring adequate income during the different career phases. In this way, they help to support transitions, ensure sustainable careers and increase the labour participation rate in formal employment.

These ISSA Guidelines aim at assisting ISSA member institutions in making informed strategic choices in the design and delivery of programmes and services intended to help people access employment and remain employed, to improve their employability through ongoing access to lifelong learning and to facilitate the return to work. The concrete implementation of these guidelines is illustrated by examples of good practices from ISSA member institutions.

Some of the guidelines deal with administrative functions and can therefore be readily implemented by the institution. Others may require legislative or regulatory changes that are beyond the mandate of the institution. Given its expertise and experience, the management can help increase awareness among policy-makers and promote the advantages of innovative policy measures. The administration can make specific policy proposals based on lessons learnt from successful practices in other countries. In that respect, the guidelines provide a unique window into practices from around the world.

The most significant challenge in the area of employment, which particularly affects certain regions of the world, is the decent work deficit. As the International Labour Office has long maintained, when people are employed, there are still major gaps in the quality of work. Far too many workers have inadequate wages or income, lack job security and have little or no access to social protection. This is particularly the case for workers in the informal economy. It is estimated that there are 2,000 million (2 billion) such workers worldwide, more than half of the global workforce. A large proportion of these individuals despite being in employment are at risk of in-work poverty.

It is also for this reason that this challenge was included in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) (more specifically SDG 8 which addresses “Decent work and economic growth”) and therefore the ISSA Guidelines are in line with targets 8.5 (by 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value) and 8.8 (protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment) from the Global Indicator Framework.

This challenge is specifically covered by the ISSA Guidelines on Administrative Solutions for Coverage Extension. In this regard, it is important to mention that informality was included in the recent discussions at the 109th International Labour Conference.

In particular, the conclusions adopted by the Conference emphasized the need to ensure that the ILO Recommendation on Social Protection Floors, 2012 (No. 202) are applied in an integrated manner with Recommendation on the Transition from the Informal to the Formal Economy, 2015 (No. 204) in order to promote full and productive employment and support the inclusion of individuals at social risk in the labour market.

They should be read in conjunction with the ISSA cross-cutting Guidelines, particularly on good governance, quality of service, information and communication technologies, fighting error, evasion and fraud, and communication by social security administrations, which apply to all social security institutions.

As briefly mentioned in the paragraph above concerning the challenge of the decent work deficit, the promotion and implementation of all ISSA Guidelines can make a concrete and substantial contribution to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

For example, the Guidelines mainly reinforce and align with SDG 8 (“promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all”) and SDG 10 (“reduce inequality within and among countries”). Moreover, the synergies with SDG 1 (“end poverty in all its forms everywhere”), SDG 4 (“quality education”) and SDG 5 (“achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”) are significant. In this respect the United Nations and ISSA are proven to be loyal partners in the promotion of sustainable employment and thanks to this will be able to address the issue transversally.

The fundamental principle underlying the ISSA Guidelines on the Promotion of Sustainable Employment is to give the best possible support to the unemployed and jobseekers to ensure their rapid and lasting return or entry to employment, which ultimately avoids unnecessary dependency on social security benefits. These Guidelines also have a preventive dimension, which aims at anticipating the causes of unemployment and finding appropriate responses to keep at-risk workers economically active.

Therefore, access to employment and worker retention, the return to work and sustainable employability are the objectives of a set of mechanisms and processes designed to facilitate the occupational integration of young jobseekers and the professional reintegration of individuals who have lost their jobs or have been outside the labour market for a prolonged period. These mechanisms also facilitate job retention for those who are at risk of losing their jobs (excluding the risks of illness or injury) and help minimize the further loss of employment by improving lifelong employability.

Reaching these objectives requires an integrated approach to the design of interventions, involving different actors to ensure the adequate planning and coordination of actions.