Digital platforms provide resilience to national economies in a crisis like Covid-19: BRICS ministers
Covid-19 had negatively impacted the efforts made to address unemployment, BRICS ministers noted
Ministers from BRICS nations have supported the development of the digital economy, including digital delivery of services, to enhance the role of gig and platform workers in the labour market.
Discussing the issue at the BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ Meeting on Thursday, they acknowledged the role of digital platforms in providing resilience to national economies in the face of crisis such as Covid-19.
All BRICS members - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - participated in the meeting chaired by India, the Union Ministry of Labour & Employment said.
At the same time, the BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ Declaration adopted at the meeting recognized that the COVID-19 pandemic had negatively impacted the efforts made to address unemployment, decent work deficits and inequality.
The declaration illustrates the strong determination of BRICS Member countries to recover with stronger national economies, inclusive labour markets and social protection systems, the Union Ministry of Labour & Employment said.
BRICS countries agreed that the sustained participation of women in the labour market and strategies for the promotion of women participation in remunerative, productive and decent work are top priorities in the national policy agenda.
Regarding “Promoting Social Security Agreements amongst BRICS Nations”, BRICS Ministers have resolved to carry out exchange of information among BRICS countries on employment and social security for cross-border labour flows and initiate social security agreements between BRICS nations within a reasonable timeframe.
On the issue of “Formalisation of Labour Markets”, member countries reiterated their commitment to enhance the transition from informality to formality as a means towards improving living and working conditions, productivity and job growth and strengthening efforts to reduce poverty through access to quality employment and social protection
The purpose of the meeting was to exchange views on the impact of Covid-19 on global labour market, enhance information sharing, discuss and agree upon specific areas of cooperation between BRICS Member countries.
Discussions at the ministerial meeting focused on four priority areas of cooperation - Promoting Social Security Agreements amongst BRICS Nations; Formalisation of Labour Markets; Participation of Women in the Labour Force; and Gig and Platform Workers: Role in the Labour Market.
Yadav highlighted the path breaking reforms by Government of India in amalgamation, simplification and codification of its labour laws into four labour codes. These are “The Code on Wages 2019”, “The Code on Social Security 2020”, “The Industrial Relations Code 2020” and “The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code 2020”.
The new Labour Codes provide integrated pathways towards robust formalization of the labour market, increasing participation of women in the labour force and enhancing the role of gig and platform workers in the labour market, he said.