The International Labour Commission (ILO) is urging employers’ and businesses operating in the country to adopt its declaration which provides clear guidance on how enterprises can contribute to the realisation of decent work.
The Tripartite declaration of principles concerning multinational enterprises and social policy (MNE Declaration) is the ILO instrument that provides direct guidance to enterprises on social policy and inclusive, responsible and sustainable workplace practices.
The aim of this declaration is to encourage the positive contribution which multinational enterprises can make to economic and social progress and the realisation of decent work for all; and to minimise and resolve the difficulties to which their various operations may give rise.
At a sensitisation session for employers’ organisations and enterprises on the MNE Declaration in Accra, the Head of ILO, Ghana, Ms Akua Ofori-Asumadu, observed that the declaration seeks to uphold international labour standards in enterprises not only multinationals but also national enterprises.
The training is organised under the Trade for Decent Work project sponsored by the European Union (EU).
The MNE Declaration provides clear guidance on how enterprises can contribute through their operations worldwide to the realization of decent work.
Its recommendations rooted in international labour standards reflect good practices for all enterprises but also highlight the role of government in stimulating good corporate behaviour as well as the crucial role of social dialogue.
Ms Ofori-Asumadu noted that the declaration seeks to highlight corporate social responsibility and promote social dialogue.
This, she said, meant that enterprises needed to create an environment where employees engage each other to promote decent work.
“And when we say decent work, we are talking about international labour standards with regards to how an employee is projected at the workplace.
“This includes equal pay for equal work, same working hours, elimination of child labour, and gender parity.
“And so, we have gathered here with enterprises from Ghana, local and multinational in sectors such as information communications technology (ICT), mining, and media,” she said.
With this, she added that businesses were encouraged to allow more dialogue, and use parts of their corporate social responsibilities (CSR) to promote decent work within the community in which they operate.
International best practice
A Research Officer of the Ghana Employers Association (GEA), Mr Kingsley Laar, stated that businesses must adopt international best practices in their operations in the country.
As a result, he said the GEA ensured that operations of these businesses were in line with the country’s laws.
On unemployment, he said the government should take keen steps that could help create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive.
That, he said, would enable business to expand and engage more hands.
“Employment creation often depends on the existence of an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive, expand and engage more people.
“But in Ghana most businesses are faced with challenges such as high interest rates, duplication of taxes, repetition of roles by regulatory authorities and that affect the growth and ability for these enterprises to employ more,” he said.
He called for the development of a proper database on unemployed people in the country in order to disaggregate data on youth jobseekers by location, gender, skills.