RCSA Chief Executive Officer, Charles Cameron, will next month be attending, as an expert, a meeting of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to define ‘recruitment fees and related costs’ in the context of establishing a global response to cross border migration abuse. Representing the International Organisation of Employers, Charles is extremely proud to be expanding the influence of RCSA to a global level on top of the work he is already doing as a Director of the World Employment Confederation.
Whilst it is critical for RCSA, and the World Employment Confederation, to be active in stamping out unethical and unlawful recruitment practices in relation to vulnerable candidates and workers, Charles will be ensuring that any ILO definitions account for the contemporary recruitment and staffing industry and the evolving range of services they offer as part of the new economy.
The tripartite meeting of experts aims to agree on a definition of "recruitment fees and related costs".
The 2016 ILO general principles and operational guidelines for fair recruitment sets, as a general principle, that "No recruitment fees or related costs should be charged to, or otherwise borne by, workers or jobseekers". In the framework of cross-border recruitment or of labour migration, industry-led initiatives strongly support this principle. A development of this definition is a key component for the protection of migrant workers and the fair and effective governance of labour migration.
Charles will take a pragmatic view, as always, to the ILO table. Charles recently stated that “as is the case in Australia and New Zealand, there is a fine balance to be maintained when protecting the genuinely vulnerable whilst also promoting opportunity for those that have adapted to the new way of working”.
The employment industry, organised on an international level by the World Employment Confederation, takes a clear stance against the charging of fees to jobseekers.
The principle is enshrined in the Code of Conduct of the WEC. The WEC has worked several international stakeholders to create policy solutions as well is practical guides and instruments. It has developed the ‘Defining the Business case: Ethical Recruitment’ guidelines and recommendations which showcases to workers, businesses, and recruiters the clear added value for engaging in ethical recruitment practises. Furthermore, the World Employment Confederation works with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to implement the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS). Finally, the employment industry supports the inclusion in the Global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration of a clear statement on the banning of recruitment fees.
The World Employment Confederation therefore welcomes the role of the ILO in the fight for ethical recruitment and the banning of fee-charging to jobseekers. The need for decent public and private labour market services laid the foundation for the anonymous adoption of ILO convention on private recruitment and employment services (No. 181). Convention 181 puts forward the framework for creating the right regulatory framework for employment and recruitment services on the national level in collaboration with government, unions and businesses.
The employment industry has, since its adoption in 1997, worked with the ILO to support its ratification and implementation across the world.