From May 27 to June 11, 2022, representatives of governments, trade unions and employers from 187 member countries of the International Labor Organization met to discuss issues of importance for the world of work at the International Labor Conference. This year’s topics included Occupational Safety and Health, Apprenticeships, as well as Social and Solidarity Economy issues. In the mentioned period, the delegation of the Serbian Association of Employers was led by Mr. Boško Savković, Secretary General.
The Serbian Association of Employers actively followed the work of Standard-Setting Committee: Apprenticeships, since it participated in the preparation of the Draft Law on Work Practices and the closeness of these topics.
The discussion should result in the adoption of the standard, so this topic will be discussed at the Conference in 2023 as well, when the standard will be adopted. This year, an agreement was reached that the adopted standard will be a Recommendation, not a Convention, and that the instrument will not apply to traineeships (work experience for those who finish shool without obtaining a license) and internships (work experience for those who want to learn about particular industry or field, usually students or graduates).
The General Affairs Committee considered two important points:
- Amendments to the Maritime Labor Convention – the decision was based on previously adopted amendments at the Special Tripartite Committee meeting held in May with the intention of improving the living and working conditions of seafarers. The result of the only vote held during this year’s Conference was that the proposed changes were adopted by an overwhelming majority.
- Inclusion of Occupational Safety and Health in the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work – as part of the agreed changes, employers’ delegates managed to win an amendment to the Declaration defining responsibility for safety and health as a shared responsibility of all three social partners. A final clause has also been successfully introduced, based on which the amendments to the Declaration do not apply to existing trade and investment agreements between States. On the other hand, the trade unions managed to ensure that the amendment to the list of fundamental conventions includes Convention 155 – Occupational Safety and Health Convention, which, in the opinion of employers, is too technical.
During the participation in the Conference, separate meetings were held with representatives of employers’ organizations from other countries in order to renew and strengthen direct communication and cooperation, in particular with the delegations of Denmark, Belgium, Germany and countries in the region. The delegation of the Serbian Association of Employers also attended the Gala dinner regarding the 100th anniversary of the International Organization of Employers (IOE), as it has been a full member of the IOE since 2006.