What is the ILO Governing Body?

The Governing Body (GB) is the executive body of the International Labour Organization (the Office is the secretariat of the Organization). It meets three times a year, in March, June and November. It takes decisions on ILO policy, decides the agenda of the International Labour Conference, adopts the draft Programme and Budget of the Organization for submission to the Conference, and elects the Director-General.

It is composed of 56 titular members (28 Governments, 14 Employers and 14 Workers) and 66 deputy members (28 Governments, 19 Employers and 19 Workers). Ten of the titular government seats are permanently held by States of chief industrial importance (Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States). The other Government members are elected by the Conference every three years. The Employer and Worker members are elected in their individual capacity. IOE members elect the Employer representatives on the GB. (The last elections were held in June 2017.)

The IOE provides the Secretariat to the Employers' Group, with the support of ILO ACT/EMP, and contributes to the development of responses to the items on the Governing Body agenda. The IOE further supports the individual Employer Group spokespersons on behalf of the Group in the discussions.

Why is the ILO GB relevant to business?

Any outcome of the GB can have an indirect or direct impact on national and regional policy discussions and ultimately on regulatory frameworks, day-to-day management decisions and future business projects.

It is therefore important for employer and business representatives to play a central role in the policy and technical work of the GB so that the needs and priorities of business of all sizes operating in different geographies, economic sectors and frameworks, are fully reflected in GB discussions and outcomes.

How does the IOE’s work in the ILO advance the agenda for business?

The IOE has acted since its establishment as the Secretariat for the Employers’ Group in the GB, providing technical and political support and guidance.

The IOE participates actively in the various meetings of the ILO’s supervisory bodies, including the GB Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA) and has submitted complaints and representations on behalf of employers against certain governments for violations of ratified Conventions with a view to achieving compliance with the rights of national employers’ organisations.