The challengeThe specific challenge of Employers in the region is that they only look back at a relatively short history as independent business membership organizations starting to operate after the fall of the iron curtain in the early 1990s. Although the willingness to associate to Employers’ organisations (EBMOs) has improved in recent years, many enterprises still do not see the value of a collective business voice and are hesitant to join. Low membership and scarce financial resources make it difficult to provide services to members, to advocate for a better business environment, and to engage in policymaking on economic and social issues. This situation is further aggravated by the fact that governments do not often promote genuine social dialogue.
The protracted COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the exiting challenges and is expected to have serious repercussions on the EBMOs if member enterprises are struggling for survival. Positively, the crisis presented an opportunity for EBMOs to exercise leadership in shaping the policy responses of governments and strengthen their relevance as advocates for the private sector.
Main interventions offered to support Employers’ Organizations
- Advocacy: Advisory services on how to assess the environment in which enpreprises operate, as well as to formulate, implement, and monitor advocacy agendas and reform proposals. The main methodology applied is the ILO’s Enabling Environment for Sustainable Enterprises (EESE).
- Service Delivery: Assessment of members’ needs for services improving the performance of individual enterprises, improvement of existing services, and development of new services.
- Complementary Management Support: Technical support on key issues of managing an EBMO, including strategic planning, governance, membership development, finance, internal organization, and communication.