R189 - Job Creation in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Recommendation, 1998 (No. 189)

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Preamble

The General Conference of the International Labour Organization,

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Eighty-sixth Session on 2 June 1998, and

Recognizing the need for the pursuit of the economic, social, and spiritual well-being and development of individuals, families, communities and nations,

Aware of the importance of job creation in small and medium-sized enterprises, Recalling the resolution concerning the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises adopted by the International Labour Conference at its 72nd Session, l986, as well as the Conclusions set out in the resolution concerning employment policies in a global context, adopted by the Conference at its 83rd Session, 1996,

Noting that small and medium-sized enterprises, as a critical factor in economic growth and development, are increasingly responsible for the creation of the majority of jobs throughout the world, and can help create an environment for innovation and entrepreneurship,

Understanding the special value of productive, sustainable and quality jobs,

Recognizing that small and medium-sized enterprises provide the potential for women and other traditionally disadvantaged groups to gain access under better conditions to productive, sustainable and quality employment opportunities,

Convinced that promoting respect for the Forced Labour Convention, 1930, the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948, the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949, the Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951, the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957, and the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958, will enhance the creation of quality employment in small and medium-sized enterprises and in particular that promoting respect for the Minimum Age Convention and Recommendation, 1973, will help Members in their efforts to eliminate child labour,

Also convinced that the adoption of new provisions on job creation in small and medium-sized enterprises, to be taken into account together with:

  • (a) the relevant provisions of other international labour Conventions and Recommendations as appropriate, such as the Employment Policy Convention and Recommendation, 1964, and the Employment Policy (Supplementary Provisions) Recommendation, 1984, the Co-operatives (Developing Countries) Recommendation, 1966, the Human Resources Development Convention and Recommendation, 1975, and the Occupational Safety and Health Convention and Recommendation, 1981; and
  • (b) other proven ILO initiatives promoting the role of small and medium-sized enterprises in sustainable job creation and encouraging adequate and common application of social protection, including Start and Improve Your Business and other programmes as well as the work of the International Training Centre of the ILO in training and skills enhancement,

will provide valuable guidance for Members in the design and implementation of policies on job creation in small and medium-sized enterprises,

Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to general conditions to stimulate job creation in small and medium-sized enterprises, which is the fourth item on the agenda of the session, and

Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of a Recommendation;

adopts this seventeenth day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight the following Recommendation which may be cited as the Job Creation in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Recommendation, 1998.

I. DEFINITION, PURPOSE AND SCOPE
  1. 1. Members should, in consultation with the most representative organizations of employers and workers, define small and medium-sized enterprises by reference to such criteria as may be considered appropriate, taking account of national social and economic conditions, it being understood that this flexibility should not preclude Members from arriving at commonly agreed definitions for data collection and analysis purposes.
  2. 2. Members should adopt measures which are appropriate to national conditions and consistent with national practice in order to recognize and to promote the fundamental role that small and medium-sized enterprises can play as regards
    • (a) the promotion of full, productive and freely chosen employment;
    • (b) greater access to income-earning opportunities and wealth creation leading to productive and sustainable employment;
    • (c) sustainable economic growth and the ability to react with flexibility to changes;
    • (d) increased economic participation of disadvantaged and marginalized groups in society;
    • (e) increased domestic savings and investment;
    • (f) training and development of human resources;
    • (g) balanced regional and local development;
    • (h) provision of goods and services which are better adapted to local market needs;
    • (i) access to improved quality of work and working conditions which may contribute to a better quality of life, as well as allow large numbers of people to have access to social protection;
    • (j) stimulating innovation, entrepreneurship, technology development and research;
    • (k) access to domestic and international markets; and
    • (l) the promotion of good relations between employers and workers.
  3. 3. In order to promote the fundamental role of small and medium-sized enterprises referred to in Paragraph 2, Members should adopt appropriate measures and enforcement mechanisms to safeguard the interests of workers in such enterprises by providing them with the basic protection available under other relevant instruments.
  4. 4. The provisions of this Recommendation apply to all branches of economic activity and all types of small and medium-sized enterprises, irrespective of the form of ownership (for example, private and public companies, cooperatives, partnerships, family enterprises, and sole...

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