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April 16, 2024

The Supreme Council for Social Dialogue and Its Subsidiary Councils in Egypt


The Supreme Council for Social Dialogue is one of the most important mechanisms for facilitating social dialogue among the three parties involved in the labor process in Egypt: the government, employers, and workers. This council includes representatives from relevant ministries, employers, workers, and concerned organizations and experts. Its primary purpose is to prepare legislation that aligns with the goals of the involved parties.

The council issues a report to the public and participates in discussions involving all stakeholders regarding the current labor law project presented to the House of Representatives. This law will apply to all wage workers in Egypt, approximately 30 million workers. The aim is to address shortcomings in the current labor law established by Law No. 12 of 2003 in accordance with jurisprudence, the judiciary, and international labor agreements. The state recognizes the value of labor and the role of workers and employers in development, emphasizing the importance of establishing the principles of social dialogue among the parties involved in the production process. Egypt did not appear on the international watchlist, commonly known as the “blacklist,” during the International Labour Conference held in Geneva earlier in June.

The council began its work in 2018, and it has branches in different governorates. It was established by the Ministry of Labor and comprises representatives from various ministries, including Social Solidarity, Investment and International Cooperation, Trade and Industry, Justice, Labor, Parliament Affairs, Education, Agriculture, Local Development, Tourism, and the Public Business Sector.

The decision also involved adding members representing employers and workers. Six members come from the boards of employers’ organizations, and another six come from the boards of labor unions. The council has the right to invite experienced specialists to attend its sessions without voting in the deliberations. The council also has a technical secretariat, the formation and responsibilities of which are determined by the council president.

Meetings of the council take place at the Ministry of Labor’s headquarters and should occur at least once every three months or whenever the need arises. A valid meeting requires the presence of two-thirds of its members, including representatives of the relevant employers’ and workers’ unions. The decisions are made based on the majority of the present members, and the decisions are approved by the council president.

The council’s main responsibilities include:

  1. Shaping national policies for dialogue between the parties in the production process.
  2. Creating a conducive environment for consultation and participation in drafting labor-related laws, union organization, and related legislation.
  3. Providing input on international and Arab labor agreements before signing them.
  4. Building trust among the partners in the production process and implementing measures to assist and support economic projects that aim to provide suitable employment opportunities.
  5. Proposing appropriate solutions for collective labor disputes at the national level, especially during economic crises that lead to the complete or partial suspension of certain projects.

Subsidiary Councils: Subsidiary councils are formed in the governorates, led by the respective governors and consisting of various representatives from relevant departments and organizations. Their roles include supporting social dialogue on labor-related matters, fostering a suitable climate for cooperation, addressing labor disputes and protests, and suggesting local investment and economic projects to create decent job opportunities within their regions.

Meetings of these subsidiary councils are held at the governorate’s headquarters and should occur at least once a month or as needed. They require the presence of two-thirds of their members, including representatives of relevant labor and employers’ unions. Decisions are made based on the majority of present members and are approved by the council president at the governorate level.

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