Joint Statement of the ASEAN Labour Ministers on response to the impact of coronavisus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on labour and employment.
WE, the Labour Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States, namely Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia,the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore,the Kingdom of Thailand, and the Socialist Republic of VietNam, convened the Special Meeting of ASEAN Labour Ministers on Response to the Impact of Coronavirus Disease2019 (COVID-19) on Labour and Employmentthrough a video conference on 14 May 2020;
Provide support for the livelihood and health of all workers, especiallythoseworking in high-risk sectors,andsafeguardtheir labour rights amidst the impact of COVID-19 to the economies and industries of ASEAN Member States;
Endeavour to provide that all workers, including migrant workers, laid off or furloughed by employers affected by the pandemic are compensated appropriately by the employers and eligible toreceive social assistance or unemployment benefits from the government where appropriate, in accordance with the laws, regulations and policies of respective ASEAN Member States;
Facilitate access of all workers infected by COVID-19to essentialhealth care services and other relevant medical support as necessaryand prevent discrimination against infected workers;
Provideappropriateassistance andsupport toASEAN migrant workers affectedbythepandemicineachother’s country or in third countries, including effective implementation of the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, working towards their health, well-being and safety as well as facilitating their movement and reuniting them with their families;
Further strengthen the effectiveness ofactive labour market policiesat national and regional levels,occupational safety and health standards, and socialprotection systems through productive and harmonious social dialogue to retain employment, reducethevulnerabilitiesofat-riskworkers, and improvetheirresilience;
Utilise digital technology as communication and consultation mediaamidst temporary restrictions of movement in many countries so as to further regional cooperation and national responses to the impact of the pandemic on labour and employment;
Enhance effective and transparent publiccommunications through officialforms of media fortimely updatesof government labour and employment policies and measures in response to the pandemic and counter misinformation;
Enhancecooperationwith tripartite partners, civil society, international organisations, ASEAN Dialogue Partners and other stakeholders in mutually agreed areas such as knowledge sharing, research and developmenttechnical assistance and resource mobilisation to support rapid responses and post-pandemic recovery plan; and
Continue sharing of best practices and lessons learnt among ASEAN Member States on measures to help at-risk workers and employers and promote their resilience.