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G20 Labour and Employment Minister’s Statement on COVID-19


Taking place in the context of the outbreak of COVID-19, which requires global coordination and response, the "G20 Special Conference of Labour and Employment Ministers on COVID-19" was held at 18:00 (Hanoi time) April 23. The Conference issued the Statement on COVID-19.

The  outbreak  and  spread  of  coronavirus  (COVID-19)  is  an  unprecedented  global challenge that requires a coordinated global response. At the Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit held on 26th March 2020, in the spirit of solidarity, our Leaders committed to do whatever it takes to overcome this pandemic and determined to spare no effort, both individually and collectively, to tackle the intertwined health, social and economic impact and to safeguard people’s jobs and income.
In accordance with our Leaders’ commitment and determination we, the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers, will continue to work together and in coordination with other G20 ministers to develop and implement comprehensive, effective measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on domestic  and  global  labour  markets  and  societies.  Fighting  and  overcoming  the pandemic is our highest and over-riding priority.
As part of the responses to the coronavirus outbreak, workers and their families across the  globe  are  confronted  with  the  need  for  hospitalization,  quarantine,  physical distancing measures, restrictions on travel, and mobility. In addition, due to both the imperative health measures taken and repercussions of the pandemic on economic activity,  workers  are  facing  elevated  risks  of  job  losses,  reduced  working  hours, suspended employment relations and income loss.
We will make every effort to protect our workers, particularly those who are considered vulnerable and not covered by adequate social protection. We will make every effort to avoid leaving them even further behind. As such, we cannot allow COVID-19 to widen inequalities, including gender inequalities, in the labour market and erode progress made thus far.
We will continue, in full global co-operation, to take a human-centered approach to promote employment, bolster social protection, stabilize labour relations, and promote the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work amid the pandemic prevention and control  measures,  with  actions  being  taken  in  accordance  with  our  national circumstances.
Employment should be given priority in developing macroeconomic policy packages, and coordination between employment and other policy responses is important.
In addition to protecting jobs and income, we will ensure that our social protection systems are sufficiently robust and adaptable to provide adequate support for all workers in need, regardless of their employment status, age, or gender.
We will also continue to ensure the provision of adequate measures to protect workers, particularly for healthcare workers and those in other essential services who are most exposed to risks brought by COVID-19 through occupational safety and health measures and we will continue to promote decent work, including in global supply chains.
Our countries will continue to explore ways to support businesses and employers, especially micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), to be able to maintain employment and support affected workers through this challenging period.
Measures will be developed in accordance with national circumstances and may include cash transfers, tax credits, grants, loans, and wage subsidies. We are already seeing these measures introduced in many G20 members and across the world. In addition, we will provide guidance and support to employers to enable them to take effective steps to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on their operations, resources, supply chains, and especially their workforces.