The Union Minister for Labour & Employment Bhupender Yadav, on 15 July 2021 chaired the BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ Meeting under India’s Presidency.
Ministers of the member countries viz. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa participated in the meeting.
Key Details about the Meet:
- The BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ Meeting was organized by India to exchange views on the impact of Covid-19 on the global labour market, enhance information sharing, discuss and agree upon specific areas of cooperation between BRICS member countries.
- Discussion on four priority areas of cooperation took place namely:
- Promoting Social Security Agreements amongst BRICS Nations;
- Formalization of Labour Markets;
- Participation of Women in the Labour Force;
- Gig and Platform Workers: Role in the Labour Market.
- The significant aspect of the meeting was the adoption of the BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ Declaration.
- The Ministerial Declaration recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the efforts made to address unemployment, decent work deficits and inequality.
- It also illustrates the strong determination of BRICS Member countries to recover with stronger national economies, inclusive labour markets and social protection systems.
- Shri Bhupender Yadav, in his welcome address, stressed the need to enhance the intra-BRICS solidarity and promoting sustained, inclusive, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
- He highlighted the path-breaking reforms by the Government of India (GoI) in amalgamation, simplification and codification of its labour laws into four labour codes, namely
- The Code on Wages 2019
- The Code on Social Security 2020
- The Industrial Relations Code 2020
- The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code 2020
- The new Labour Codes provide integrated pathways towards robust formalization of the labour market, increasing participation of women in the labour force and enhancing the role of gig and platform workers in the labour market.
- The Minister further emphasized the need for the signing of Social Security agreements amongst BRICS nations to promote the welfare of the international migrant workers.
- It is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies which are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Originally the first four were grouped as “BRIC”, before the induction of South Africa in 2010.
- The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs.
- All are also members of G20. Since 2009, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits.
- BRICS headquarter is situated at Shanghai, China. BRICS members are known for their influence in regional affairs.