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close this bookABC of Women Workers' Rights and Gender Equality (ILO; 2000; 124 pages)
View the documentThe International Labour Organization
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View the documentPreface to the earlier ABC of women workers' rights
View the documentPreface to the new ABC of women workers' rights and gender equality
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction: Labour standards promoting women workers' rights and gender equality (Ingeborg Heide1)
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View the documentLabour administration
View the documentLabour inspection
View the documentLabour statistics
View the documentLeave for illness in the family
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View the documentOther ILO publications
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Labour administration

Labour administration is the institutional framework within which national labour policy is developed, implemented, coordinated, checked and reviewed. National labour policy covers the following fields: employment and vocational training; labour protection; industrial relations; research; and labour market information.

An effective system of labour administration implies:

• a coordinated system of competent bodies;

• an institutional structure integrating the active participation of men and women workers, and employers and their respective organizations;

• separate structures responsible for service delivery and the management of planning, monitoring and evaluation;

• adequate human, financial and material resources;

• effective services in the fields covered (inspection, employment, vocational training, labour market information).

The principal functions of labour administration are to provide for the protection of workers through the preparation, development, adoption, application and review of labour standards, including relevant laws and regulations to promote equality and social justice in the world of work. In this respect labour administration:

• is instrumental in drafting and reviewing national labour standards;

• offers its services to workers, employers and their respective organizations with a view to adopting new labour standards through collective bargaining, smoothing out difficulties which may arise during negotiations, and reducing the risk of labour disputes;

• implements and coordinates the preparation and application of standards on working conditions, terms of employment and occupational safety and health by involving the social partners;

• checks the effective application of labour standards through labour inspection.

Despite a constant increase of women's participation in paid employment, women continue to experience greater difficulties than men in gaining access to decent work, and obtaining equal treatment in terms of remuneration and promotion. Certain categories of women such as those with disabilities, migrants, and those in the rural and urban informal sectors are particularly discriminated against, and lack basic resources and social protection. The labour administration system should play a vital role in preventing discrimination, making all actors aware of the concept of gender equality, and creating an enabling environment for promoting gender equality.

C. 150: Labour Administration, 1978
R. 158: Labour Administration, 1978

→ see also Labour inspection and Public employment services and private employment agencies

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