In his last International Labour Conference as the UK Employer Governing Body representative at the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Penningtons Manches partner Chris Syder played a key role in the CBI delegation’s defence of the interests of UK business.
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the ILO is part of the United Nations and its annual ILO conference involves 184 member states which send tripartite delegations on behalf of national employer organisations, national trade unions and labour ministries. It is also attended by numerous NGOs and international trade unions.
Chris represented the interests of UK business when the ILO supervised the UK’s alleged failure to ensure minimum standards of social security benefits meet the requirements of ILO Convention 102. In total, a further 23 countries were also supervised, including Bahrain for its discrimination laws. The UK case concerned criticism of non-compliance by the ILO’s Committee of Experts on the basis that the UK’s social security benefits are in breach of the UK’s international obligations following its ratification of ILO Convention 102. Chris intervened in order to highlight the inherent difficulties assessing whether minimum standards had in fact not been met. The UK case was successfully resolved with a general agreement that requires the UK Government to provide further information by September 2017.
In addition, Chris and his UK colleagues engaged fully in the discussions on the challenges of fair and effective labour migration governance. This was especially relevant in the context of the UK’s Modern Slavery Act. For more information, please contact Chris Syder.