Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead has more than 25 years' experience in the social field. He obtained his PhD in labor economics (on the effects of workers’ financial participation) at the European University Institute in Florence (Italy). In the mid-1980s he worked as adviser to European Commission President Jacques Delors, mainly on Social Europe, before joining the ILO in 1991.
As part of the ILO regional team, based in Budapest between 1993 and 1999, he worked on 18 Central and Eastern European countries, advising governments, trade unions, and employers’ organizations in their transition processes, mainly in the areas of wages and industrial relations. He then (1999-2003) put this experience at the service of the European Commission (DG Employment and Social Affairs), where he was responsible for social dialogue in the EU enlargement process and acted as a negotiator on social issues with the EU applicant countries. He returned to the ILO in 2004, where he is today responsible for wages and working conditions around the world. In 2008, he initiated the series 'ILO Global Wage Reports', which has become established as a worldwide reference in this area.
From 2006 he created and developed a comprehensive methodology to assess and improve wage practices along the supply chain, the ‘Fair wage’ approach. After having tested and used this new approach in the field he presented it in a recent book Fair Wages – Strengthening Corporate Social Responsibility (Edward Elgar, 2010). At the end of 2009 he set up, with Auret van Heerden, the international Fair Wage Network to develop synergies among CSR actors on wage issues.
Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead is also a Professor at Sciences Po in Paris, in the Master of Public Administration (MPA). He is the author of many books and articles on wages, industrial relations, social dumping, forms of workers’ participation and social policies in general.
Why the Fair Wage Network and its website?
‘With the ILO I am contributing to improving the legislative and institutional framework with regard to wages by advising governments and ILO constituents in general. More needs to be done, however. In a globalized context, wage practices will not be changed without involving the companies themselves – both suppliers and brands – as well as all NGOs, workers’ representatives, and researchers working in this field. With the Fair Wage Network and its website the aim is to regroup all the actors involved along the supply chain, who would be ready to commit themselves to work together to promote fairer wage practices.’