Important step for living wages by ILO agreement

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has adopted conclusions on wage policies, including living wages at the Governing Body meeting 4-14 March 2024 in Geneva. IDH appreciates that the ILO is bringing clarity on the concept of living wages, as well as providing principles for the estimation of living wages.

As IDH, we believe that our work will benefit from the guidance provided and that our basic appreciation of living wages is in line with the concept as denoted by the ILO. We are inspired to continue systematically supporting living wages along the principles as worked out, including for example the need for the methodology to be evidence-based, transparent and publicly available, robust, specific and considering the regional or local context, regularly adjusted, and technically reviewed. IDH also considers the indications to promote gender equality and non-discrimination as supportive to our work.

IDH appreciates the guidance to continue to involve both employers’ and workers’ organisations representatives in the methodology for estimating living wages and look forward cooperating more with them. As regards to the guidance provided for the operationalisation, we are pleased to note the commitment by ILO-members to integrate living wages in their social dialogue and wage-setting processes, including in collective bargaining, based on the ILO key principles of wage setting, as reflected in the outcome document. The IDH living wage team stands ready to support this where feasible.

IDH is pleased that the ILO Office will continue to provide support to living wages in the framework of wage setting processes, and look forward to continue cooperating with the Office and ILO-members in operationalising living wages.

The report for the Meeting of Experts references to IDH’s work on living wages as being among the most significant initiatives, recognising the IDH Roadmap on Living Wages, Salary Matrix and related tools, as well as the IDH Call to Action.

IDH stands ready to continue to offer our experiences in this, in particular also in working with the private sector in global supply chains, in sectors (such as bananas and tea) or with individual companies. This requires an open dialogue with ILO members and recognition of the particular importance, as well as specific conditions, of promoting living wages in global supply chain, including purchasing arrangements between businesses. IDH furthermore stands ready to assist the Office or ILO members in designing and implementing programs for technical assistance regarding living wages, within the possibilities we have.

Check the ILO article: ILO reaches agreement on the issue of living wages