Policy brief

National employment policies for an inclusive, job-rich recovery from the COVID-19 crisis

This policy brief highlights the role of gender-responsive national employment policies in responding to the short- and longer-term impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

The COVID-19 crisis has severely impacted employment around the world, especially in hard-hit sectors and among certain groups, including women and youth. Gender-responsive national employment policies can play an important role to promote an inclusive, job-rich recovery from the COVID-19 crisis but need to be adapted in terms of both existing policy frameworks and the formulation of recovery strategies. While balancing health and employment objectives, policymakers will need to consider the following issues:

1. Due to the heightened uncertainty, policymakers need to strengthen data collection, assessments and analytical approaches; follow more agile public policy processes; and engage in regular social dialogue with employer and worker organizations.

2. Drawing on the latest data and analysis, along with social dialogue, employment policy measures need to be sequenced and revised in line with the evolution of the crisis.

3. Specific measures targeting hard-hit sectors and groups (e.g. women, young people), especially for those in the informal economy, are required during the reactivation and recovery phases, along with identifying opportunities in new sectors with employment potential, which can benefit these groups.

The intersection of the COVID-19 crisis and the ongoing future of work trends due, in particular, to technological progress, demographic shifts and climate change, will shape the key national employment policy priorities over the coming years. By taking a human-centred approach, the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work provides guidance on shaping a new generation of national employment policies, which link the COVID-19 crisis response and the longer-term goal of moving towards a better future of work.