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Social Dialogue

Social dialogue is defined by the ILO to include all types of negotiation, consultation or simply exchange of information between, or among, representatives of governments, employers and workers, on issues of common interest relating to economic and social policy. It can exist as a tripartite process, with the government as an official party to the dialogue or it may consist of bipartite relations only between labour and management (or trade unions and employers' organizations). Workplace cooperation, collective bargaining at company, sector or cross-industry levels, and tripartite consultation processes are common forms of social dialogue.

Social dialogue has demonstrated its potential to promote democratic governance and participation as well as economic stability and progress. It can also be a tool for maintaining or encouraging peaceful and constructive workplace relations.

Social dialogue comes in various forms and levels according to national traditions and contexts. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to organize and strengthen social dialogue. At the same time, free, independent, strong and representative employers' and workers' organizations, together with trust, commitment and respect by the governments for the autonomy of the social partners and social dialogue outcomes are key conditions for effective social dialogue.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to the world of work. Social partners and social dialogue played an important role in contributing to the design of measures to protect health and safety as well as to mitigate negative social and economic consequences of COVID-19 pandemic and promote resilience among companies and workers.
ACT/EMP is working with employers organisations to strengthen their capacities to engage in tripartite and bipartite debates, consultations and negotiations on economic and social issues. It also engages to promote effective and constructive workplace relations.