Business Urges G20 to Support Private-Sector Led Growth and Job Creation

Two machinists working on machineLeaders of USCIB’s global network have urged G20 governments to pursue an agenda of smarter regulation, labor market flexibility, and eliminating barriers that inhibit entrepreneurs from starting and growing businesses.

Daniel Funes de Rioja, President of the International Organization of Employers (IOE), and Phil O’Reilly, chair of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC), addressed the G20 Labor and Employment Ministers in Melbourne on Wednesday as part of the B20 delegation, pointing to the potential of private-sector led growth and job creation.

At the meeting, Steve Sargent, member of the Australian B20 Leadership Group, and coordinating Chair of the B20 Human Capital Task Force, led the business presentations, emphasizing key B20 recommendations including the need for structural flexibility, consistent and effective business regulation and for dismantling the barriers inhibiting entrepreneurs from starting and growing businesses and creating jobs.

Funes de Rioja stressed that the IOE, as a key contributor to the B20, stands firmly behind the B20 recommendations: “What is essential now to encourage business is that governments pursue an agenda of smarter regulation, simpler administrative requirements, and short-term incentives”. He also echoed B20 support for the inclusion of occupational safety and health on the G20 agenda, recommending that national efforts focus on prevention, rather than sanctions. For this, he said, information and accessible advisory services were needed, especially for SMEs, citing the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety & Health Convention 187 of the International Labor Organization as a useful tool.

O’ Reilly urged governments to “remove restrictions on businesses offering different types of employment arrangements in response to changing needs”. Referring to the newly-released joint IOE-BIAC (Business and Industry Advisory Committee) monitoring report, he encouraged G20 to improve on the implementation of policy commitments. “What is important is that actions lead to positive results, and we call on governments to move forward with bold reform measures based on the commitments made in the G20 labor process”. He also cited the Global Apprenticeships Network, a business initiative led by companies and representative business organizations to promote quality apprenticeships, adding that “Government dialogue and engagement in these efforts is critical to success.”

More on USCIB’s Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Committee

IOE President Promotes Youth Employment at G20

IOE factsheet_IOE at a glance eng v_09.inddMore than 75 million youth are unemployed worldwide. Long-term youth unemployment increases the risk of social exclusion well into adulthood and poses broader threats to national productivity, growth and development.

Addressing a B20 Roundtable in Melbourne, Australia on September 9, Daniel Funes de Rioja, president of the International Organization of Employers, called for key actions governments can take to bring about the right conditions for job creation. As a participant in the B20 Human Capital Taskforce, he underscored two areas he particularly wanted to see addressed: structural reform to enhance labor market flexibility and better alignment between prospective employees’ education and the needs of business.

Funes de Rioja also reminded the audience of the part played by the business community in youth workforce development with the launch of the Global Apprenticeships Network (GAN), a coalition of companies that offers apprenticeships to young workers and shares youth employment best practices with other companies and labor administrations.

“Government reforms in both areas are needed in order to open up opportunities for newcomers to enter the labor market, to allow companies to adapt in line with demand, and restore their confidence to hire,” he said. “To date, we have seen progress in terms of implementation of measures to align skills training with labor market needs.” But he added, “focusing on the supply side alone will not bring about a labor market that meets the needs of employers and workers in the 21st century.”

In June 2013, the B20 and L20 reached consensus on the need for a global apprenticeships network to combat long-term youth unemployment. “Global business, through the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD and the IOE, has since moved forward with launch of the GAN,” said Ariel Meyerstein, USCIB’s vice president for labor affairs, corporate responsibility and corporate governance. “It’s time for countries to meet business half-way to further incentivize and support apprenticeship programs throughout the G20.”

Funes de Rioja concluded by reiterating the position of the B20 Human Capital Taskforce: “Businesses face structural challenges to increasing employment. Dismantling the regulatory barriers that restrict diverse forms of employment is in the interest of businesses and job seekers alike and we hope the G20 governments will not waver from their commitment in this regard.”

Staff Contact:   Gabriella Rigg Herzog

VP, Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs
Tel: 212.703.5056

Gabriella Rigg Herzog leads USCIB policy and programs on corporate responsibility, international labor standards and corporate governance. She manages USCIB engagement with its affiliated organizations, U.S. government agencies, and United Nations agencies on international corporate responsibility principles, codes of conduct and multi-stakeholder initiatives, as well as international and transnational regulatory activities on labor and employment policies, sustainable development and corporate governance.
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