"Crises forge strong bonds between democracies"

Hubertus Heil at the G7 Labour and Employment Ministers' Meeting

The labour and employment ministers of the G7 adopted a groundbreaking communiqué at their meeting in Wolfsburg today, agreeing on measures to facilitate a just transition to a green social market economy. At the meeting, whose slogan was "Just Transition - Make it Work", Federal Minister Hubertus Heil and his fellow labour ministers discussed the effects of structural change and the climate crisis on labour markets.

As the leading industrialised nations, the countries of the G7 bear responsibility that extends far beyond their own borders. We have a global responsibility. Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the ramifications of that attack loom large. We strongly condemn this invasion. We all agreed that we must integrate Ukrainian refugees quickly and fairly into our labour markets and social systems, while at the same time mitigating the social impact of nflation. This meeting and its ambitious agenda show that we are a community of shared values and take our global responsibility very seriously. Crises forge strong bonds between democracies.

All industrialised countries are currently facing similar challenges: We want to become climate-neutral and promote digital transformation. At the same time, we must ensure that people have good jobs in the future. We were all in agreement that regular continuing education and training is an important instrument. For that reason, we agreed on a G7 action plan for continuing education and training.

In addition to that, we want to continue to promote fair supply chains and decent work worldwide. People have a fundamental right to safe and healthy working conditions. We of the G7 are providing support to the ILO for making this an ILO core labour standard in the future. This represents a concrete improvement for workers worldwide.

Moreover, in the framework of its G7 presidency, Germany has put the impact of climate change on occupational health and safety on the international agenda for the first time. This was long overdue. Rising temperatures affect many people at work. Be it on construction sites or in fields, in overheated factories or offices, heat is an increasingly urgent problem. Appropriate regulations concerning this are needed in the area of occupational health and safety. In a G7 roadmap, the G7 ministries agreed to review regulations and adapt them as needed.

This also includes an understanding among stakeholders around the world of what conducting business sustainably in global supply chains means. Our goal is to establish a legally binding instrument at international level that can build on the internationally accepted UN, ILO and OECD frameworks. To this end, the G7 countries are jointly involved in discussions at the United Nations and the ILO.

The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has put worker protection and social justice in economic transformation at the top of its agenda of Germany's presidency of the G7. For these agenda items, reliable processes are needed in addition to specific measures. There are big challenges that cannot be tackled sporadically.

I am glad that the G7 Labour and Employment Ministers' Meeting is to become a permanent fixture. This lets us promote better working conditions on a continuous basis. I am confident that the G7 Summit in Elmau will confirm this decision.

BMAS/ T. Rafalzyk

The Labour Ministers of the G7 countries.

BMAS/ T. Rafalzyk

Family picture.

BMAS/ T. Rafalzyk

Federal Minister of Labour Hubertus Heil at the press conference.