4th Employment Policy Research Symposium, 15-16 November 2021

Employment policies for a job-rich recovery and a better future of work

This year’s symposium focused on the follow-up to the Global Call to Action for a human-centred recovery from the COVID-19 crisis that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient. Towards this aim, it reviewed the available evidence and discussed policy approaches to assist ILO constituents in their efforts to promote labour market recovery and structural transformation processes that will shift economies to a new and better normal.



To respond to the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the world of work, ILO Member States and their employer and worker representatives adopted in June 2021 a Global Call to Action for a Human-Centred Recovery. The Global Call sets forth a comprehensive agenda of measures to be taken by governments and social partners to achieve sustainable, inclusive and job-rich recovery from the pandemic. It also called for international cooperation and support from multilateral institutions for national “human-centred” recovery strategies.

Integrated national employment policies that are tailored to the needs and circumstances of each country are key to attaining the goal of an inclusive job-rich recovery. Those policies should encompass supportive macroeconomic as well sustained public and private investment in hard-hit economic sectors, and sectors with strong potential to expand decent work opportunities. They should also account for substantive support to workers and enterprises coping with structural transformation and sweeping changes in the world of work.

The ILO has an array of tools and programmes in the area of employment and decent work that have been used to assist its constituents in responding to the pandemic crisis - from timely monitoring of the labour market impact to facilitating national employment recovery strategies, reaching out to vulnerable workers and enterprises, providing employment and skills programmes for immediate relief, and supporting policy design based on social dialogue.

An employment policy facility is also being established to act as a repository that countries can conveniently access. The ultimate purpose of this symposium was to review the available evidence and discuss how those tools and programmes could be adapted and strengthened in order to assist ILO constituents in their efforts to promote labour market recovery and the shift to a new and better normal.


  • Take stock of the experience with the economic and employment policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Review conceptual and analytical foundations behind those responses and how they can help shape recovery strategies;
  • Discuss main challenges to job-rich recovery in developed and developing economies and possible solutions;
  • Share lessons from good practice and innovative approaches;
  • Identify key items for future policy research work; and,
  • Foster a global knowledge network among policy-makers, international experts and academia the ILO can rely on in its follow-up to the Global Call for Action.
This Symposium is supported by the European Commission as part of the project “Building partnerships for the future of work”.