A Global Business Network for Social Protection Floors

The Global Business Network for Social Protection Floors (SPFs) intends to be a platform for enterprises to share experiences on social protection and to foster the debate regarding the role of enterprises to support the installation of public social protection systems in countries where they operate.

Learn about how you can be involved in the Global Business Network for Social Protection Floors

"Enterprises can play a significant role in promoting and realizing social protection floors adapted to each country.”

ILO Director- General Guy Ryder

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Latest news

The fourth annual meeting of the Global Business Network for Social Protection Floors took place at ILO Headquarters in Geneva on the 23rd of October 2018. Over three dozen participants from multinational enterprises, employers' organisations' and social protection institutions came together to share ideas and provide valuable inputs on how business can contribute to the 2030 Agenda on social protection through their human resources and corporate social responsibility policies. 

On March 30th, 2018, Geely-Sanya University and International Labour Organization (ILO) signed a cooperation agreement on project training, curriculum development, and scientific research related to social protection and business performance.

On March 30th, 2018, the delegation of Social Protection Department of International Labour Organization visited Shanghai Kaibao Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. The company shared good practices in safeguarding employee social protection benefits and emphasized the importance of investing in talents, improving employees' satisfaction, and thus promoting the competitiveness of the company.

On March 29th, 2018, the delegation of Social Protection Department of International Labour Organization visited Shanghai Mitsubishi Elevator Co. Ltd. The parties exchanged experience and shared lessons on corporate social protection practices, and discussed further opportunities of collaboration in promoting social protection in China.

On October 30th, 2017, the delegation of Shanghai Enterprise Confederation visited International Labour Organization's headquarters in Geneva. The delegates expressed their willingness to acquire knowledge and insights on labor relations and corporate social protection.

Focal contacts

Valérie Schmitt
Deputy Director Social Protection Department, schmittv@ilo.org

Ambitions of the Network

Launched on 28 October 2015, at the initiative of the ILO Director General, Mr. Guy Ryder, the Chairman and CEO of L’Oreal, Mr. Jean-Paul Agon, and the Secretary General of the International Organization of Employers (IOE), Ms. Linda Kromjong, the Global Business Network for Social Protection Floors is a leading knowledge-sharing platform for enterprises that are developing social protection programmes, as well as an engagement platform for enterprises willing to support the development of national social protection floors. The network includes multinational enterprises, employers’ organizations and private sector foundations that wish to share good practices and investigate how company programmes can promote the development of national social protection floors.

The ambition of the Network is to:

  1. Guide enterprises in providing adequate social protection to their employees through their compliance with national social security legislations and by designing and implementing gender-sensitive social protection packages for their employees.
  2. Guide enterprises and employers’ organizations in supporting the development of national social protection floors and contribute to the business continuity and performance of their factories, subsidiaries and suppliers.
  3. Document the impact of social protection on business performance and build a “buiseness case” for social protection.
  4. Promote the role of social protection in mitigating future crises within business continuity plans.
  5. Strengthen and expand the Global Business Network: by positing it as a leading platform for business to contribute to SDG 1.3

Learn about how you can be involved in the Global Business Network for Social Protection Floors

Workplan and results

The Tentative workplan of the global business network for Social Protection Floors for 2016-2020 proposes a global framework for the Network members to contribute to the development of knowledge and ultimately to make social protection floor a reality for all.

The Global Business Network for Social Protection Floors has taken concrete measures in 2018 to improve corporate guarantees worldwide, to advance research on social protection and to establish social protection floors in specific countries.

Know more about our impact and results:

Reports of GBN annual meetings:

Members of the Global Business Network for Social Protection Floors

"I was struck by the tremendous disparities in social protection from one country to another. Yet L’Oréal must ensure security and protection so that each employee can work in total confidence wherever they are."

Jean-Paul Agon - Chairman and CEO, L'Oréal

"We are very happy to have started a collaboration with the research department of the ILO that helps us evaluate our Share and Care Program. We are convinced that this partnership is a win win exercise. We are happy to share our experience on how international companies are developing social protection. At the same time, the ILO research expertise allows us to measure the impacts of our programs and improve our policies worldwide."

Hugues de Beaugrenier - Social Relations Director, L'Oréal

"Social protection is so important to us because it allows us to collaborate with the countries and communities where we operate. For example, starting from 2015, with the support of the ILO, we granted 14 weeks of maternity leave to all the women in all the countries where ENI operates. And we did not stop there. This year, we also granted working fathers ten working days for paternity leave. These procedures aim to give equal rights to women and men in sharing child care responsibilities."

Adele Badaracco - Project Manager, Eni Foundation

"We believe that the Global Business Network is a great opportunity for countries and companies because sometimes, multinationals can have a positive impact on national laws through their internal regulations. In this way, multinationals can contribute to the public social security system, especially in developing countries."

Adele Badaracco - Project Manager, Eni Foundation

"We have operations in different countries which means that we have the responsibility to provide fair employment conditions through benefits and social protection to all our employees, taking into consideration the specificities of these different countries."

Bengt Enbom - Senior Vice President Human Resources, Geely Holding Group

"As an educational institution sponsored by Geely group, we are really honoured to make a commitment with the ILO in raising the level of awareness among enterprises on social protection, and we hope to support them in identifying the benefits of social security programmes. As a research institution, we have the data, the resources and the people to support the ILO with further research"

Zoe Chee - Sanya University

"Social protection is an important area of work for Danone. Our mission is to instil good health through food and nutrition for as many people as possible and we are convinced that offering social protection is consistent with this mission."

Pascal Desbourdes - Vice President, Executive Development, Danone

"As a part of the SDGs, social protection is not only important for social development but also makes a sense from a business perspective. By joining this network, we hope to create a multiplying effect that could bring positive change to all."

Pedro Pires - Corporate Employee Relations Manager, Nestle

"As a global company, our duty of care towards our employees takes us beyond national practices when they are not at the expected level. The Global Business Network is important for us to share knowledge on social protection and to foster new ideas in the development of adequate measures throughout the world."

Aurelie Stephan - XXX, Legrand

"The Auchan foundation aims at improving working conditions of vulnerable workers in developing countries. For that matter, we are happy to support and participate in experimental projects that raise awareness on the importance of social protection. We partnered with the ILO on a programme in Cambodia because we believe it is important to join experiences and competences to build the culture of social protection around the globe."

Alain Guitton - General delegate, Auchan, Weave our Future

The Francophone Business Network

The Francophone Business Network on social protection floors was launched in 2016 to nurture knowledge exchange between French companies and further promote the development of social protection worldwide.

In 2017, the francophone group, with the facilitation of the French National School for Social Security EN3S, developed a guide of good practices to support companies in designing corporate social protection programmes. They followed this in 2019 with the publication of a guide on mapping the level of social benefits available across different countries (Only available in French).

Discover social protection programmes from members

The Share and Care Programme (Video) L'Oréal.

The Share & Care Programme ensures that L’Oréal employees around the world will have access to a common set of social benefits at the best market level, covering social protection, healthcare and wellbeing at work.

Respect, Success and Happiness Geely

Geely is committed to provide protection for basic rights, health and safety, and well-being of its employees.

What do SPFs mean for Sanofi? Sanofi

Sanofi is committed to working with governments to develop national health systems that ensure access to healthcare and affordable medicines for all. 

Dan'Cares experience Danone.

The Dan’Cares programme intends to ensure that all employees have access to quality health care, including maternity care, hospitalization and medical consultations.

Eni's commitment to social protection Eni.

Eni launched initiatives in favour of equal opportunities and non discrimination in the workplace.

Take Care: an International Benefit Programme Crédit Agricole.

The Take Care programme intends to define benefits granted to employees according to country’s specific needs. 

L'Oréal ILO Collaboration: Building a stronger business case for Social Protection

L'Oreal is an active member of both the GBN and the French Network. The Group also works with the ILO on a study to determine a methodology to evaluate the quantitative impacts of social protection on the firms and the employees (based on the examples and data from the Share & Care programme). To advance the study, a mapping exercise was conducted to track the improvement of social protection in comparison with existing local schemes.

The study has uncovered the challenges in collecting sufficient quality data and indicators. Thus, the current analysis focuses on the choice of the indicators (e.g. absenteeism, turnover) and the type of data to collect to better evaluate such programmes. This will also be mirrored in an upcoming paper.

Geely ILO Collaboration: Filling the Data Gap in Social Protection

To overcome the methodological challenges in measuring the business benefits of social protection, members of the GBN, the ILO’s Social Protection and Research Departments, and Sanya University are currently developing a toolkit suit (“HR analytics”) which would analyze the implications of the changes in retention and attrition rates of talented workers on the companies’ economic indicators, such as return on investments (ROI). The toolkit will further allow to measure and analyse the impacts of national and complementary social protection programmes on the HR performance of enterprises.

Read our research papers on the impacts of social protection

Social security and firm performance: The case of Vietnamese SMEs 

Abstract: "Based on enterprise census data covering all registered firms across the 63 Provinces of Vietnam from 2006 to 2011, we find that, controlling for unobserved time-invariant firm-level characteristics, firms which increase the social security coverage by 10 per cent, experience a per worker revenue gain of between 1.1-2.6 per cent and a profit gain of around 1.3-3.0 per cent, with exact estimates depending on the survival time of the firm." 

Social Protection and Growth: Research Synthesis . 

Abstract: "Social protection is one of many policy interventions that can contribute to poverty reduction goals. Evidence is growing of the positive impacts it can have on economic growth, especially in protecting and enhancing productivity and labour force participation among poor households."

Better Work discussion paper :evidence on the relationship between firm survival and social protection compliance. 

Abstract: "Using a discrete-time survival analysis model of 595 Cambodian garment factories, this study finds that increased compliance to social protection labour standards (social protection compliance) is associated with a reduced odds of factory closure. This result implies that increased social protection compliance can enhance the well-being of workers while maintaining a firm’s competitiveness."

Enhancing employers' involvement in social protection policy debates 

Resource cover

The objective of the training "Enhancing employers' involvement in social protection policy debates", organized by the International Training Centre of the ILO, is to enables officials from the representative Employers' Organizations to understand and master the Social Protection Floor concept and its implications, and to equip them with knowledge and tools to become more active and have more constructive impact in national discussions on social protection schemes and their extension.

More information about the training can be found on the dedicated workspace.

Promoting social protection in countries

Information sessions in Pakistan and in France led to the creation of the Pakistan Business Network for Social Protection Floors and of the French Speaking Business Network for Social Protection Floors.

The Pakistan National Business Network for Social Protection Floors was launched in 2016 to mobilize the private sector in Pakistan in supporting social protection policies. The network is spearheaded by the Employers’ Federation of Pakistan (EFP) and is comprised of 40 leading representatives drawn from business associations, multinational and national companies and academia. In 2017, Network has developed a detailed action plan and secured the funding for the first activity.

Auchan Weave Our Future: Building a social protection culture in Cambodia

In 2017, Auchan's Weave Our Future Foundation partnered with the ILO and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in Cambodia to promote the country’s new contributory health protection scheme. To support the public information campaign on the extension of this social protection scheme to SMEs, the informal sector and families, the Weave our Future Foundation has contributed USD 55,000, with NSSF providing additional USD 125,000. The project has helped to raise awareness and educate workers and employers about the right to social security while developing NSSF’s capacity to communicate effectively about the new schemes and benefits. As of June 2018, owing to the project success, the number of registered beneficiaries of NSSF has increased, and now accounts for 1.4 million of workers.

Building Social Protection Floors for All

Today, 55% of the global population does not have access to social protection. The ILO works together with governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations, the private sector, civil society organizations, academia, the UN system and other development partners to support countries to realize the human right to social protection and improve millions of lives.

Get involved and partner with the ILO to fight for social justice and contribute to more inclusive and prosperous societies.

More information on the ILO Flagship programme on building Social Protection Floors for all is available in the 2019 annual report.

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