Speaking at the B20 kick off meeting in Beijing on January 26, International Organization of Employers (IOE) President Daniel Funes de Rioja targeted the five key inhibitors of flexible labor markets and optimal labor market participation.
With employment already earmarked by the Chinese G20 presidency as a prime area of focus, Funes wasted no time in setting out the expectations of business: “I want the G20 to make ambitious commitments on the headline aim of Energetic Labor Markets and Adaptable Workforces.”
He set out five key actions for the G20 leaders to optimize labor market participation:
- Remove barriers to starting, operating and growing a business.
- Create easy-to-understand, employment-friendly labor law.
- Promote the variety of forms of employment needed to allow companies maximum opportunities to hire as many people as possible.
- Decrease the burden of non-wage labor costs – in many cases an obstacle to employing people.
- Create attractive regulatory framework conditions that stimulate the establishment of apprenticeships systems.
Funes went on to recall the recent IOE-BIAC-Deloitte survey on youth employment in G20 countries, launched just six weeks ago in Ankara, which found that 80 percent of respondents believed that the current regulatory framework for the establishment and operation of enterprises was “more cumbersome than supportive.” The IOE President cautioned that with such framework conditions in place, bringing more people into employment remained a pipe dream.
On top of the required action above, Funes also called for more transparency and accountability in the G20 employment process. The G20 national employment plans could, he acknowledged, play “a decisive role”, but their potential had not been fully exploited to date. The G20, with the support of business, needed to ask themselves:
- Are the employment plans concrete and ambitious enough?
- Is implementation of the employment plans sufficient?
- What are the lessons learned from the last two years?
Summing up, Funes said that the B20 called on the Chinese G20 presidency to refocus the employment process on job creation and growth, and to strengthen the implementation of employment commitments through more rigorous and robust assessment of the employment plans in place across the G20.