The ministers stated this in their Ministerial Declaration issued at the end of their one-day virtual meeting last week.
They noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had had a significant impact on national and global labour markets.
They said, “Working hours declined by around 14 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, equivalent to the loss of 400 million full-time jobs.
“People employed in the informal economy, representing 1.6 billion workers, and under-represented groups, such as youths, women and persons with disabilities are among those in the labour market who have been disproportionately affected.”
The ministers said young people had been acutely impacted, adding, “There is a risk that without effective recovery plans at the national and, where appropriate, international level, their longer-term labour market outcomes may be negatively affected.
“We will continue to work together, and in coordination with other ministers, to help ensure that, in the spirit of solidarity, the post-pandemic economic recovery has a job-centric focus, to develop and implement effective measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on labour markets and societies.”
The ministers said they would spare no effort to ensure that labour market and economic recovery efforts prioritise sustainable and inclusive growth in quality employment.
They said, “We will work, both individually and collectively, including through social dialogue, to support all workers experiencing job losses, suspended employment relations, reduced working hours and income loss, while also ensuring their health and safety at work.
According to the declaration, social protection plays a vital role for all people, including those who have experienced reduced income or job loss as a result of COVID-19.
It said, “The COVID19 pandemic has reinforced the need for strong social protection systems to support all workers and their families, including through crisis and recovery.
“We recognise that social protection systems are facing significant and unprecedented challenges in many of our countries, including identifying and providing adequate protection for all, in particular the self-employed, platform workers, own-account workers and workers in informal employment.”