Brazil: G20 Employment Working Group highlights commitments made under Indian Presidency

New Delhi [India], March 30 (ANI): The second day of the G20 Employment Working Group (EWG) meeting held under the Brazilian presidency in the city of Brasilia began with a special session dedicated to the follow-up of implementation of commitments made during India’s G20 presidency to develop an international reference classification of occupations and skills, according to an official statement from the Union Labour and Employment Ministry.

In the meeting, the Indian delegation highlighted the need for G20 countries to work towards the G20 EWG commitment of the Indian Presidency in 2023 for the incorporation of basic and extended indicators in respective national surveys for mapping global skills gaps. This classification of occupations and skills has the potential to benefit developed, developing and least developed nations alike.

The Secretary, Labour and Employment, Sumita Dawra, highlighted that the first step towards realization of the long awaited global skill harmonisation has been taken with ILO and OECD having prepared the draft terms of reference (ToR) of the feasibility study for international reference classification. The feasibility study, spanning two years, will include a pilot in select sectors, including IT, care and green sectors.

Additionally, Joint Secretary Rupesh Thakur presented that upon completion, the global framework will cater to the anticipated immediate, medium and long term skill requirements of G20 countries and beyond. It will open up a world of employment opportunities to the workers of G20 countries especially emerging economies like India and Brazil. It will enable demand-based employment mobility, fostering a more interconnected and efficient global job market.

According to the official release, the leaders also deliberated upon the critical issues of the impact of care policies and equal pay in promotion of gender equality in the world of work and acknowledged the challenges faced by women due to disproportionate caregiving responsibilities and the necessity of supportive care policies.

EWG also discussed India’s pro-active approach and steps in this direction and highlighted that the Time Use Survey which was conducted for the first time in the nation in 2019 to understand the distribution of paid and unpaid activities among genders, the Palna Scheme which provides quality day care facilities for children of working women, the Code on Social Security 2020 which aims at extending social security benefits to gig and platform workers including women.

It also underscored the increase in paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks and mandatory creche facility in the establishments having 50 or more employees and provision in labour laws for work from home for such period and on such conditions mutually agreed by employer and workers, especially women.

Another key agenda taken up was the issue of pay disparity between genders. The Indian delegation enunciated the Government’s efforts which have aided in the notable decrease in the gender pay gap in India.

The delegation highlighted the newly enacted Code on Wages, 2019 aims at eliminating discrimination in matters related to conditions of work in addition to the matters of recruitment and pay, thereby, building on the existing Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.

It said that there are schemes like Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Stand-Up India, etc for providing women access to collateral free subsidized credit and seed money to set up or scale up their own enterprises.

They also shared that Skill India Mission endeavours to equip women with market-relevant skills to bridge the learning-to-livelihood gap and the gender pay gap. Several initiatives taken aim to promote change and tackle societal barriers, which eventually encourages pay parity at workplace, the release said.

Additionally, they informed that at present over 78.6 per cent of women own bank accounts that they themselves use, which is an improvement by 25 per cent over last 5 years, India has made notable progress in closing the gender pay gap over time and in in 2022 , equal match fees for both male and female centrally contracted Indian cricket team players was implemented and MGNREGA implementation is helping in reduction of the gender pay gap, both directly and indirectly.

The meeting concluded with comprehensive discussions on equality in the world of work. It was emphasized that equality is economic necessity not just a moral obligation. On this issue, India’s multifaceted approach to enhancing female participation in the workforce on an equal footing was highlighted. Legislative and schematic interventions, such as the National Education Policy 2020, Skill India Mission, and schemes for women in STEM fields, were elucidated.

“The Government of India’s historic move to reserve one-third of seats for women in the House of People (Lok Sabha) and in the State Legislative Assemblies in 2023, and efforts to increase women’s representation in armed and police forces were well received by the forum,” the release said.

The meeting concluded with a strong reiteration of the collective resolve of the G20 countries to continue working towards, advancing gender equality, diversity at workplace and social security. (ANI)


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