Dear Chairman
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honoured to take part in this year’s International Labour Conference, given the matters covered by the Conference, notably the new demographic context and social dialogue, which are issues familiar to the Minister of Labour and Social Policy in Poland.

Currently, all EU member states are affected by the economic slowdown. Difficult situation on the international markets pushes the governments into implementation of programmes which are aimed at stabilizing the situation in particular countries. In Poland – as an effect of experience in implementation of anti-crisis package – the mechanism providing support for entrepreneurs in the period of revenue decrease is being implemented. Its purpose is to keep the employment and prevent the redundancies of employees at risk in the situation of transitory aggravation of conditions to lead economic activity by the entrepreneur. These solutions are mostly based on the possibility to receive additional means to pay the remunerations for the period of work stoppage or decrease of working time amount.

The time of economic slowdown is also the time we can carefully look at the provisions of the Labour Code. The purpose of the proposed changes is to adjust the regulations to the labour market conditions, as well as to create the guarantee of decent work for the workers. The presented solutions include – inter alia – extension of working time duration account to 12 months after the agreement with workers’ representation is reached and introduction of flexi-time together with the right to rest.

The economic crisis seriously hampers the implementation of those long-term objectives, it is also a time of high unemployment rate. All unemployed expect the effective aid from public employment services. High unemployment among youth entering labour market, low activity of elderly people – are the problems we are facing nowadays. Therefore the government is introducing the reform of PES which is aimed at raising the employment indicators through the increase of effectiveness of the PES.

One of the most important tasks is the improvement of the situation of youth on the labour market and the introduction of actions for the guarantees for the youth. The guarantee is a period of 3 months during which a young person without work should obtain a job proposal or a proposal to raise or complete their professional qualifications. Additionally these solutions will be supplemented with the programmes to support the entrepreneurship of youth and university graduates. A better start in the adult life means better conditions to start up families.

Demographic situation is important not only for the labour market, but also for the financial stability of pension system. The Polish government undertakes initiatives to support the families which includes programmes for childcare institutions and longer parental leaves.

Employment, family and entrepreneurship are the key factors for improving the situation on the labour market today and our answer to strategic challenges of the future.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In the report: “Towards the ILO centenary: Realities, renewal and tripartite commitment”, the Director-General presents 7 ideas that are to prepare ILO for the centenary of its existence. It is an inspiring and very ambitious new vision of the Organisation. Particular focus should be put on the initiative to consolidate the tripartite consensus with reference to the control system and an increase in the importance of international labour standards through the review mechanism. Moreover, we observe with interest the plans for further ILO involvement in the innovations in the world of labour, such as green jobs or corporate social responsibility. It seems that the implementation of that vision will make ILO prepared for the challenges of the contemporary world and involved to a greater extent in addressing them by the international community.

Thank you!