A new Social Contract for Recovery and Resilience
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) on 13th July 2020 brought together world leaders and social partners in a Virtual High Level Political Forum(HLPF 2020) on the theme, “SDG’s decade of Action: A new Social Contract for recovery and Resilience”
“Sustainable development is premised on the people having decent work. But we all know that “No enterprise, means no business, and no business, means no work, no work means no decent work!” Therefore, business is central to the realization of the sustainable development agenda. The role of business is manifested in various ways from direct injection into national revenue through taxes, to programmes, jobs, governance and direct investments,” said Mrs. Jacqueline Mugo, Executive Director FKE and Secretary General, BUSINESS-Africa Employers Confederation.
She laid out the following proposed employers’ 10-Point Plan for recovery in the face of Covid-19 pandemic.
- Private sector led economic growth as the best way of achieving sustainable and inclusive recovery.
- The need to support business continuity and recognizing that new business models are key to recovery. We need businesses that will create jobs for women, youth and migrant workers. We need to support entrepreneurs in our economies as they play a crucial role in providing livelihoods within our society especially in developing economies.
- An enabling environment for business recovery, development and resilience
- Undertaking steps to protect & promote productive employment and incomes
- Address the pervasive challenges of informality
- Have an array of incentives and innovative solutions to support transition from informal to formal without jeopardizing livelihoods.
- Need to attract informal economy operators to want to formalize.
- Build a Sustainable Social Protection System. Africa is highly exposed as few countries have this in place.
- Address inequalities of wealth distribution.
- Common strategies for safe and successful return to work
Mrs. Mugo also raised employers’ concerns with regards to ITUC proposals on the introduction of Universal Basic Income and the concept of Living Wage. She noted that both would lead to low motivation to work, increase inequality in society and destroy SME’s and jobs.
The forum was a good opportunity for BUSINESSAfrica to rally world leaders to push for policies that benefit the continent rather than “a one size fits all” initiatives with the view of improving the productive capacity of enterprises and safeguarding the welfare of workers.
Other panellists during the high-level meeting included; Guy Ryder, Director General, International Labour Organization, Ambassador Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations and chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, Ayuba Wabba, President ITUC, Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and Sharan Burrow, Secretary General, ITUC.