Employment, Education and Social Policies

In light of the intensity of labour market challenges in G20 countries, the G20’s employment agenda was elevated to the working group level in 2014 with the creation of the Employment Working Group (EWG). The OECD has made significant contributions over the years to the work on employment and social policies notably in the areas of youth unemployment, labour activation policies, social protection, new forms of work, and reducing the employment gender gaps, most often in partnership with the ILO. In 2020, under the Presidency of Saudi Arabia, the OECD produced a report with the ILO, at the request of G20 Leaders, on the Impact of COVID-19 on Global Labour Markets. The two organizations also provided an update on progress towards the Antalya Youth Target, to reduce the share of young people who are at most risk of being permanently left behind in the labour market by 15 percent by 2025. The OECD and ILO supported under Saudi Arabia’s Presidency the G20 Youth Roadmap 2025, which aims to support countries to achieve the G20 Antalya Youth Goal. The OECD, together with the ILO, was called upon to continue monitoring these matters - both the impacts of COVID-19 on employment and the youth target, under the Italian Presidency.

Gender Equality

In 2014, the OECD analysis on the economic case for promoting gender equality (Achieving stronger growth by promoting a more gender-balanced economy) supported the commitment by G20 Leaders agreed to reduce the gender gap in labour force participation rates by 25% by 2025 (Brisbane target).Since then, the OECD, together with the ILO, has been monitoring G20 countries’ progress in achieving the Gender Target, which is captured in a report Women at Work in G20 Countries first presented to Ministers under the German Presidency in 2017. The report also focused on improving job quality of women as key to reducing gender gaps in both labour force participation and pay. The OECD supported the Argentinian Presidency’s approach to mainstream gender equality across the various G20 policy work streams. In 2018, in the Digital Economy Task Force, the OECD provided evidence-based analysis on high impact policies to help women best address the challenges and opportunities brought by digitalisation. The G20 Presidency of Saudi Arabia also mainstreamed gender across working groups, and in 2020 the OECD/ILO delivered the annual Women at Work report on progress towards the Brisbane target. During the Italian G20 Presidency, the OECD is continuing to provide input with ILO to this workstream, as requested by Leaders in Riyadh and is contributing to the Roadmap towards the Brisbane target which will examine gender equality in areas beyond labour force participation, including policy options to improve job quality and opportunities.

The OECD is also supporting the G20 EMPOWER (Private Sector Alliance for the Empowerment and Progression of Women’s Economic Representation) Alliance.
This initiative, comprised of private sector representatives and supported by G20 governments, was launched during the Osaka Summit in 2019 under Japanese Presidency to advocate for the advancement of women in leadership positions in the private sector. EMPOWER met for the first time during the Saudi Presidency and will be pursued by Italy in 2021. In 2020 the OECD supported the EMPOWER Alliance with a stocktake on policy practices to promote women in leadership roles in the private sector.

Hyperlink with Stocktake report: Policy Perspectives on Promoting Women in Leadership Roles in the Private Sector

Education & Skills

The OECD contributed to the adoption of the G20 Skills Strategy, based on the OECD Skills Strategy under the G20’s employment stream. Under Argentina’s Presidency, that set up the education working group, the OECD has contributed its analysis to the G20 efforts on effective financing of education and skills systems, future of skills, and governance of education and skills systems, based on the work of the OECD Centre for Skills and the outcomes of the PISA and PIAAC exercises. The OECD contributed work on access to early childhood education to the Saudi Presidency of the G20 in 2020, and is undertaking in 2021 a survey requested by the Saudi Presidency on the use of digital technologies in early childhood education during the COVID-19 epidemic.The Italian G20 Presidency will host an Education Ministerial in June with a “back-to-back” formula and a joint segment with the Labour Ministerial.


International migration was put on the G20 agenda in 2015 in a context of global refugee crisis. The OECD, together with other international organisations, contributed its analysis Towards a Framework for Fair and Effective Integration of Migrants into the Labour Market under the German Presidency. Ahead of the 2017 Hamburg Summit, the OECD contributed a report on migration G20 Global Displacements and Migration trends report highlighting key findings from the OECD International Migration Outlook 2017. The OECD was asked by Leaders in Hamburg to report back annually on migration trends and policy challenges. During the Presidency of Saudi Arabia the OECD delivered the 2020 Annual International Migration and Forced Displacement Trends and Policies Report prepared in cooperation with ILO, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 

Sustainable Supply Chains and Modern Slavery

Governance gaps and poor enforcement of labour laws and standards contribute to poor job quality in global supply chains. Against this backdrop, the German Presidency aimed at strengthening responsible business conduct to achieve sustainable and inclusive global supply chains, which led Ministers to reaffirm their commitment to international guidelines including the OECD MNE Guidelines. In an effort to support the German Presidency, the OECD prepared a report to the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers titled Promoting Sustainable Global Supply Chains: International Standards Due Diligence and Grievance Mechanisms.Under the Argentinian Presidency, the OECD continues supporting G20 efforts to implement measures to tackle modern slavery in close collaboration with the public and private sectors by leveraging its network of National Contact Points under the Responsible Business Conduct Guidelines and its newly adopted Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct.

Job Quality, Social Protection and People with Disabilities

The OECD supported the Turkish Presidency’s focus on inclusiveness, including in the areas of youth employment and job quality. In particular, the OECD contributed to substantiate this ambitious policy package by contributing to the G20 Framework on Promoting Quality Jobs, in co-operation with the ILO and supporting the adoption of a youth target. The OECD further supported under the Chinese Presidency the endorsement of the G20 Entrepreneurship Action Plan and the G20 Initiative to Promote Quality Apprenticeship.

The OECD supported the Argentinian Presidency’s priority on Decent Work, by preparing analysis on adapting and extending social protection for gig workers. The OECD also advanced work on indicators to measure the development of the platform economy and provide policy principles to improve the integration of people with disabilities into the labour market.  For the G20 Presidency of Saudi Arabia, the OECD and ILO provided support through the contribution of evidence-based inputs to the development of a Menu of Policy Options to provide adequate social protection for all to reflect the changing patterns of work. Under the Italian Presidency, the OECD will continue to support the social protection agenda.