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recent decades was a significant contributor to today’s recession. A major challenge faced by both industrialized and developing countries is how to build labour market security in a globalised economy. Labour market flexibility must not be achieved through the severing of the standard employment relationship, the erosion of workers’ fundamental rights and a significant reduction in workers’ welfare.

14 It is imperative that G20 countries do not exit from their fiscal stim- ulus measures prematurely. For some countries, there may be a need to undertake an extra annual stimulus of at least 1% of GDP, which should be sustained until there are clear signs of recovery. Recovery packages must be targeted so as to have the biggest impact on growth and employ- ment and to invest in the green economy. Governments should bring forward infrastructure investment programmes that stimulate demand growth in the short-term and raise productivity growth throughout the real economy in the medium-term. Investment in social infrastructure (hospital, creches, schools, child care facilities) is also needed. This would respond to an acute societal need and create employment. Measures should be introduced to support the purchasing power of low income earners in particular, including single earner households, which are predominantly female-headed. Gender discrimination needs particular attention given that women, already over-represented in low-paid jobs, are experiencing significant downward pressure on wages. Political commitment and effec- tive public policies to address the underlying causes of gender inequality are essential in order to remedy existing patterns of discrimination and exploitation, requiring strong support of the social partners. In many OECD member countries, fifty percent or more of the unemployed do not receive unemployment benefits (though non-recipients may be enti- tled to social assistance benefits), whereas in many developing countries the majority of those losing their jobs are not eligible for any kind of assist- ance. Putting more money into the pockets and purses of people on low incomes will boost the economy.

15 A key priority must be to keep people at work, workforces together and workers in activity. Active labour market initiatives have a crucial role to play. Programmes must be implemented to reduce the risk of unemploy- ment and wage losses, as well as to provide income support for those in short-time work.

16 The G20 London Summit in April endorsed the conclusions of the G8 Social Summit calling for macroeconomic policies to be “flanked by social and employment policies that avert unemployment and the risk of social exclusion and make for rapid re-entry into the job market”. They high- lighted the need for strong social dialogue pointing to the value of greater worker participation in the economic restructuring process.

17 We call on G20 Leaders to:

Establish a Working Group on Employment and endorse and imple- ment nationally the Global Jobs Pact negotiated by the ILO;

Convene, for the first time, a G20 Labour Ministers’ meeting, to address the employment impacts of the crisis. This should include the formal participation of the social partners;



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