OECD Employment and Labour Ministerial and Forum

About the Ministerial Meeting

The COVID-19 pandemic sparked one of the sharpest contractions in economic activity in living memory. With vaccination rates speeding up in many countries, the future is starting to look brighter, but more for some and less for others. The economic and jobs crisis it unleashed is far from over. To draw lessons from this crisis and identify paths to rebuild better labour markets, Ministers from over 40 countries will gather for the OECD Employment and Labour Ministerial Meeting on 15 December 2021. The Ministerial Meeting will be chaired by the United Kingdom, with Australia, Belgium, Estonia, Mexico and Spain as Vice-Chairs. 

Ministers will discuss issues that are high up on the policy agenda of all OECD countries, under the overarching theme “Moving beyond the COVID-19 crisis to a better labour market that works for all”. The Ministerial Meeting will provide an opportunity to come together at a critical time to consolidate the economic and labour market recovery in light of ongoing changes in the world of work. It will provide an opportunity to discuss how governments can seize the opportunity to build back better after the global pandemic in a way that benefits all and delivers jobs, prosperity and well-being. The Meeting will also serve to identify priority topics for future OECD work in the area of employment and labour market policies.

About the Policy Forum

Ahead of the Ministerial Meeting, the OECD will host a virtual High Level Policy Forum on 13-14 December 2021. 

The Forum will discuss how to move beyond the COVID-19 crisis and build back an inclusive labour market. It will focus on questions related to changes in the workplace in a post-pandemic world, opportunities and challenges posed by the necessary adaptation to a low-carbon economy, as well as progress in the field of artificial intelligence and its interaction with the labour market. 

The Forum will facilitate a lively and free-flowing debate between participants, through interactive and innovative discussion formats. The discussions from the Forum will inform the Ministerial discussion, as well as national public debates, and feed into the OECD’s work programme.

The 2021 Employment Ministerial Meeting and High-Level Policy-Forum will provide an opportunity for Ministers to draw lessons from the COVID-19 crisis and to discuss how to consolidate the labour market recovery in light of ongoing changes in the world of work. At the meeting, ministers will also define priorities for future OECD work that supports countries in improving the functioning of their labour markets.

Mathias Cormann

OECD Secretary-General

Seizing the moment to build an inclusive labour market

Governments in most OECD countries and beyond have announced unprecedented plans for the recovery from the crisis. This will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to address the long-standing structural challenges that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare labour markets to withstand other future shocks, including pandemics, but also shocks linked to climate change. Now is the time to think big and seize this unique opportunities to build more inclusive labour markets.