7th JUNE 2016

Madame Chair,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The aim of the current plenary discussion is to establish how ILO and the Member States can contribute to the achievement of the sustainable development goals set out in the 2030 Agenda. These objectives, specifically those concerning the poverty eradication, are particularly important not only to ILO, but also to the Polish government. Poverty deprives man of his dignity by preventing him from full enjoyment of his human rights and may lead to social exclusion.

Combating poverty, in particular improving the material situation of Polish families, constitutes one of the main objectives for the Polish government. This objective is to be implemented mainly by the Family 500+ programme, which represents systemic support for Polish families. It consists in financial aid for the families by transferring the tax-exempt amount of 500 PLN per month for any second and subsequent child, without additional conditions. The families with low incomes will obtain the support also for the first or for the only child. The implementation of the Family 500+ programme has three basic objectives: boosting the birth rate, investing in the human capital and reducing the poverty among the youngest population.

The programme is expected to entail an increase in the birth rate by 278 000 in 10 years. The second objective – investing in the human capital – is connected to the idea of building a competitive society equipped with knowledge and skills, as the family support by money transfer is to contribute to provide children with a solid education, proper eating and healthcare.

We estimate that thanks to this programme the poverty rate may decrease by about 3 %, and the risk of poverty among children up to 17 years of age will fall from 23.3 % to 11 %. The Family 500+ programme will support 3.7 million children in 2.7 million families, 30 % of which will obtain the aid for the first child.

What is more, we expect that the Family 500+ programme will have a positive impact on the Polish economy. The National Bank of Poland indicates that the GDP growth can increase by 0.3 % this year (up to the level of 3.8 %) and 0.5 % in 2017 (up to the level of 3.8 %). Thanks to the higher GDP rate, the rate of the household consumption growth will increase. By increasing the consumption, the programme can also have a positive influence on the labour market.

The fight with the poverty will be implemented also by other projects realised currently by the Polish government, introduction of the guarantee of minimum wage also in the case of certain civil law contracts, as well as removing the possibility of establishing a minimum wage at a level lower than the binding level of minimum wage for those with short occupational experience, and changing the legislation concerning temporary workers. The minimum wage itself will be increased and we expect that in 2016 its amount will exceed 45 % of an average wage.

Madame Chair,

The example of ILO shows that the realisation of social objectives, including the 2030 Agenda goals, is not possible without social dialogue or, as stated in Goal 17 of the Agenda, without “partnership for the goals”. That is why it is so important that social dialogue in Poland was brought the back on the right track. In the end of 2015 the Social Dialogue Council was launched. This institution constitutes a forum for tripartite dialogue in Poland and cooperation of employees, employers and the government, which operates on the central level. The Council, which replaced the Trilateral Commission on Socio-Economic Issues, operating since 1994, constitutes a new opening in the relations between government, employers and employees. The primary objective of the Council is to ensure the conditions for the socio-economic growth and the increase of competitiveness of the Polish economy and social cohesion. After 6 months of the Council’s activity, its significant results are already visible, including agreements of the Council concerning, inter alia, the so-called first working day syndrome, that is an employer’s order for the employee to confirm the contract in writing before admitting him/her to work, or the case of the minimum hourly rate of 12 PLN.

Madame Chair,

The implementation of the 2030 Agenda is not only an opportunity for the ILO, but also a responsibility. We believe that this institution, led by Director-General Guy Ryder, is well prepared to assume this responsibility.