Senior Relations Specialist, Employers’ Activities

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International Labour Organization




The position is located in the Bureau for Employers’ Activities (ACT/EMP).   ACT/EMP is a global team, consisting of a small team of Senior Relations and Senior Technical Specialists in ILO headquarters in Geneva, and a network of Senior Employer Specialists in each of the ILO Decent Work Teams in the different regions. ACT/EMP’s principal work is to manage the relationship between the ILO and Employer and Business Membership Organizations (EBMOs), as well as the wider business community, to promote mutual understanding, shared values, and a desire to work together. This is done in close cooperation with the Secretariat of the Employers’ Group of the ILO. Additionally, through its programme of development cooperation, ACT/EMP seeks to build the capacity of EBMOs to be strong, independent, and representative, and to increase their value to their members and potential members.

The main role of the position is to represent ACT/EMP as the technical expert on international labour standards, international labour law, and labour relations both internally and externally.  The incumbent will provide technical support on ILO standards and legal issues to the Employers’ Group, including during the International Labour Conference (ILC) and the Governing Body (GB). The incumbent will have senior level contacts with ILO officials, employer constituents, including Governing Body members, and the Secretariat of the Employers’ Group.

The incumbent works under the direct supervision of the Director of the Bureau for Employers’ Activities.

Specific duties

  • Plan, organise, coordinate and monitor the work of an ACT/EMP policy team.  In discussion with ACT/EMP management, determine priorities for the team, schedule and coordinate work items with team members in order to ensure policy coverage, deliver products, and meet agreed objectives and deadlines.
  • Provide advice to senior ILO officials on matters of concern to the Employers’ Group and represent ACT/EMP at official meetings and conferences.
  • Provide advice to senior ILO officials on current policy priorities of EBMOs.  Ensure inputs reflecting these priorities are inserted into relevant policy documents, GB and ILC documents, proposals for development cooperation, etc.
  • Provide technical support to the Employers’ Group during the GB and the ILC, regional and sectoral meetings, and ensure that the discussion process is supported.  Liaise with Secretariat of the Employers’ Group on issues under discussion.
  • Provide support and advice, in coordination with the ACT/EMP Director, to the EMBOs in the area of international labour standards, international labour law and labour relations.
  • Conceptualize, write and coordinate substantive research, technical papers, study materials and publications on substantive topics and other issues related to the work of ACT/EMP and which are of relevance for EBMOs and tripartite constituents. These will include relevant matters such as labour relations, international labour standards as well a wide range of issues for publications and for consideration of the GB or the ILC.
  • As Desk officer for a region, provide policy and technical advice and guidance to the Senior Employer Specialists in the region.  Check, control and verify work plans, coordinate the production of required reports, recommend action to management, approve expenditures against agreed work plan deliverables, and undertake missions in connection with development cooperation activities.  Provide advice to senior officials on EBMOs in the region, including their structures, priorities and concerns.
  • Perform other relevant duties as assigned.

Generic duties

  • Plan, organise, coordinate, and monitor the relations work of a unit providing this service. Determine priorities for the unit, plan, schedule and allocate work to staff in order to meet objectives and deadlines and supervise the performance of staff in the unit.
  • Provide advice to senior officials on matters of concern to the relevant constituent group and represent the unit or the Organization at official meetings and conferences.
  • Provide advice to senior officials on current policies and views, as well as on the development of general policies for relations with organisations, including employers’ and workers’ organisations and ensure the consistent application of such policies. Organise and ensure the preparation of policy- related documents.
  • Coordinate the servicing of the various groups of the Governing Body, the International Labour Conference, regional and sectoral meetings, and other official or specialised meetings and ensure that the discussion process is supported. Coordinate representation of the Organization at official meetings and brief ILO representatives at such meetings.
  • Review major ILO reports and documents, provide comments and suggestions to reflect relevant concerns and interests and approve documents, communications, and press releases.
  • Undertake missions to Member States to improve relations with relevant organisations to discuss and review their situation, and to provide advice and information on the Organization’s policies and activities. 
  • Recommend action on personnel, budgetary, procedural, and other matters relating to the efficient operations of the unit.
  • Conceptualise, formulate, and prepare development cooperation projects for submission to donors. Discuss possible projects with donors and obtain their approval, providing justification and explanation as required. Negotiate objectives, design, content, and cost of development cooperation activities, and assume responsibility for the management and implementation of projects as well as for the quality of work performed and donor reporting.
  • Provide policy and technical advice and guidance to Senior Employer Specialists in Latin America and external consultants. Check, control and verify their work, plan and coordinate the preparation and presentation of technical reports, approve expenditures and undertake missions in connection with development cooperation.

Required qualifications


  • Advanced degree in law, labour law or other relevant field.  A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent) in law or other relevant field with an additional two years of relevant experience, in addition to the experience stated below, will be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.


  • Minimum of ten years of professional experience including at the international level in labour law and in dealing with the issues pertaining to relations, actions, and programmes of employers’ organisations, including experience in a senior-level position.


  • Excellent command of one working language of the Organization (English, French, Spanish) and working knowledge of a second working language.





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