The G20 needs to face current challenges to move towards “Jobs & Growth” , the L20 insists after the ETF meeting

The G20 Employment Task Force (ETF) met last week in Sydney to discuss the priorities for this year’s presidency that include the set-up of “national employment plans” and better coordination with the Finance Track. The L20 was invited to the “engagement panel session” with representatives of the other G20 outreach groups.

At the meeting, ACTU’s Grant Belchamber said that the G20 should have “Jobs & Growth” as its primary focus by focussing on the challenges preventing sustainable recovery that he called the six ‘I’s:

  • Policy Integration - lack of coherent coordinated policy packages for macroeconomic, financial and labour market regulation needs to be addressed, which also points to a joint Labour and Finance ministerial;
  • Investment - more productive investment needs to be underpinned by pro-growth macro policies;
  • Most G20 members are also desperately in need for public Infrastructure investments;
  • Inequality - is not only bad for growth, it calls for strong wage floors (minimum wages and collective bargaining) to stop the downward slide in the labour share;
  • Inclusion - policy actions need to focus on skills and training, including Quality Apprenticeships and youth guarantees, and, in general, on active labour market policies (for women, youth, minorities and people with disabilities) providing better childcare but also improved worker safety in global supply chains (as in the Bangladesh Accord or through the OECD MNE guidelines);
  • Informality needs to be formalised by strengthening worker rights and introducing Social Protection Floors.

These “six Is” encapsulate everything that the ETF has to do in moving forward for G20 policy makers to regain public trust. The L20 and the social partners can jointly contribute to these processes. Besides the ongoing L20/B20 initiative on Quality Apprenticeships, possible focus areas could include infrastructure financing, climate change, responsible supply chains, and informality.

To see when the next G20 and L20 meetings are going to be, check out the event calendar.