COVID-19 and Supporting the World of Work

Guy Ryder
Sharan Burrow
Roberto Suarez Santos
UN SDG Learn
Publication Year:
  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

What is needed to support business continuity and protect workers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Beyond a health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic is now a human crisis with huge socio-economic impacts, including on the labour market. Millions of companies worldwide are in danger of being forced out of business with grave impacts on employment. The ILO estimates that 25 million jobs worldwide could be lost as a result of the crisis, forcing millions into unemployment, underemployment and working poverty.

To minimize the social and economic consequences, enterprises must respond quickly with innovative solutions to support the continuation of their business activities, protect their workers and prepare for the recovery. Tripartite agreements between governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations on support packages for enterprises and social dialogue at the enterprise level between managers and workers are key elements to jointly address the impacts of this crisis.


  • Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organization

  • Roberto Suárez Santos, Secretary-General, International Organisation of Employers

  • Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation

7 April 2020


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