India recently hosted the first BRICS Employment Working Group (EWG) virtually.
The 1st BRICS EWG Meeting chaired by Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Labour and Employment was held on 11-12 May 2021 in Sushma Swaraj Bhawan,
India assumed BRICS Presidency in 2021.
Highlights of the meet:
The prime agenda for the discussions were as follows:
- Promoting Social Security Agreements amongst BRICS Nations,
- Formalization of labour markets
- Participation of women in labour force
- Gig and Platform workers and their Role in labour market.
Social Security Agreement:
- The members agreed to conduct dialogues and discussions with each other to solve the issue of the Social Security Agreement (SSA) and take it forward towards the signing of the agreements.
- The International Labour Organization (ILO) and International Social Security Agency (ISSA) on their part, expressed willingness to provide technical support in facilitating the conclusion of such agreements.
- The member countries also agreed to create a multilateral framework for the same.
Formalization of Labour Market:
- The Member Nations discussed various initiatives taken by them towards formalization of jobs and how Covid-19 has enhanced informalization risk.
Women in Labour Market:
- The member countries resolved to promote the participation of women in remunerative, productive, and decent work.
- They agreed to extend social security cover to the women workers engaged in the informal sector.
- The impact of Covid-19 on the participation of women in the labour force was also discussed.
Gig and Platform workers and their role in the labour market:
- The member nations discussed how the proliferation of Digital Labour Platforms is transforming the labour processes in the world of work.
- They also discussed about the challenges faced by them and the various measures being taken by the member countries including extension of social protection system.
- At present, India has Social Security Agreements (SSA) with South Korea, Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal, Norway, Netherlands, France, Finland, Denmark, Japan, Hungary, Germany, Czech Republic, Canada, Belgium, Austria, and Australia.
- In 2018, India signed SSA with Brazil.
- India has not yet signed SSA with United States.
- BRICS is an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa and is an association of these countries.
- 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 in Shanghai, China.
- BRICS members are known for their influence in regional affairs.