Employing Workers Indicator Consultative Group
Terms of Reference
Preamble: Doing Business is one of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) flagship publications, and over the years it has proven to be a powerful tool in the hands of governments determined to improve the climate for business. The business climate is one aspect of development policy, and the WBG emphasizes that other development goals must also be given appropriate weight. These include issues as diverse as political stability, social safety nets to shield vulnerable parts of society from intolerable levels of risk and protection of rights for workers and households as well as for firms.
In the current global economic crisis, the WBG is looking at the advice, policy instruments, strategies and other tools at our disposal to ensure that it helps governments meet this array of development policy challenges. It is important that government actions focus on the needs of the labor force and lower income households, as well as those designed to help businesses to survive and grow.
In April 2009, the World Bank Group (WBG) announced that it will make changes1 to the Employing Workers Indicator (EWI) in its Doing Business publication, and will consult with a wider working group representing a broad range of views and experience to determine more long-term changes, as well as consider a new worker protection indicator.
Objective: The WBG would like to convene a Consultative Group (the Consultative Group) to provide advice on possible further revisions to the EWI and on the establishment of a new worker protection indicator (WPI), as well as offering broader ideas on labor market and employment protection issues with a view to promoting regulations that help build robust jobs with adequate protection in the formal sector.
Composition: The Consultative Group will be convened by the Financial and Private Sector Vice Presidency of the World Bank Group (Convening Party). The Consultative Group is expected to represent a broad range of perspectives from relevant international organizations, workers’ organizations, businesses, academia, and other experts. A range of developing countries and regional perspectives should also be adequately represented.
The Consultative Group members are expected to participate in their individual capacities, not as representatives of their respective organizations or employers.
To facilitate the output and work program of the group, a Secretariat will be formed by the Convening party that will consist of relevant World Bank Group staff.
Work Program: The Consultative Group is expected to advise on the following:
- Advice concerning possible modifications to the EWI and research based on the EWI, including on information to be gathered and evaluated in the context of labor markets.
- Advice concerning the development of a new worker protection indicator (WPI). This indicator could cover such matters as how a country is adhering to core labor standards and using law, regulation and other instruments of government to ensure that workers are adequately protected, including in the event of unemployment.
- Comment on the broader labor market, employment and social protection issues, including providing input to a special forum to be convened to examine the Doing Business Paying Taxes Indicator (PTI).
It is envisioned that an initial meeting of the Consultative Group will take place in late September or early October 2009 with a final meeting to be held in the summer of 2010. One to two intermediate meetings may take place as required. An initial organizational discussion between the Group members by teleconference will take place during the first week of September.
The Group will submit a report to the World Bank Group on its advice within one month of its final meeting. The reports will be prepared by the Secretariat and approved by each Group member.
Agendas and background papers will be provided by the Secretariat for discussion, and members will be welcome to contribute. Members may be requested to submit papers or proposals for discussion at meetings.
Remuneration and Expenses: The Consultative Group members will not be remunerated, but the Convening Party will cover direct expenses as needed for members not able to cover such costs, following World Bank Group travel policies.
Term: The initial period of these Terms of Reference will be for one year from August 2009 through July 2010, subject to one extension to be agreed with the members of the Consultative Group.
The immediate changes to the EWI methodology take account of night work, work on the designated day of rest, and unemployment insurance, such that countries with a certain degree of flexibility and broader protections would become eligible for the most favorable score in the EWI. These methodology changes will feature in the Doing Business 2010 report to be published in September 2009. In addition, Doing Business is also conducting research on the adoption of core labor standards into national legislation, as committed in Doing Business 2009. Preliminary results will be presented in an annex of the Doing Business 2010 report for a sample of 100 countries regarding child labor, which has been selected for this project at a first stage, out of the 4 core labor standards (right to collective bargaining, abolition of forced labor, elimination of child labor and equitable treatment in employment practices).