Product/service offer: Social dialogue and labour law

Presentation | 10 March 2021

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The challenge

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, Central and Eastern Europe faced significant challenges in complying with some fundamental international labour standards such as freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining, and non-discrimination at the workplace. The pandemic has further accelerated the trend to set back labour rights. The Covid-19 crisis has also exposed and exacerbated many of the vulnerabilities of non-standard forms of employment (temporary work, including seasonal, part time work, or disguised employment relationship). These workers are often not covered by any of the social security and job protection responses to the pandemic.

National tripartite social dialogue platforms have undergone harsh resilience tests. At the outset of the pandemic, tripartite social dialogue bodies found themselves ill –equipped to respond in a fast and effective way to the emergency situations. Social partners were marginalized in the policy making. Yet, in some cases, they emerged stronger when they could offer solid evidence and governments resorted to tripartite social dialogue to gain legitimacy for Covid-19 relief measures (Montenegro, North Macedonia).  
Finally, the pandemic and the related social distancing measures created the need for new working arrangements such as teleworking or flexible working time schemes. Labour and employment legislations need to be adapted while securing labour rights.

Service offer

  • Customised legal and technical solutions to a wide range of legislative (what) and practical (how) questions arising in labour law reforms, aligned to international labour standards, European labour law and  world-wide comparative law and practice;
  • Up-to-date information about labour legislation developments in CEE countries through the online searchable database CEELex;
  • Cutting edge solutions for monitoring and assessing the state of industrial relations and social dialogue (e.g. labour dispute management information systems, collective agreements and social partners membership databases);
  • Training tools and practical guides in the area of labour dispute resolution, grievance handling, application of international labour standards in judicial practice. 
Contact: Cristina Mihes, Senior Specialist, Social dialogue and labour law through budapest@ilo.org