Financial instruments and institutions help create jobs and reduce the vulnerability of the working poor. They complement policies that target the labour market. Decent work recognizes the role of the financial sector for social justice. It advocates alliances with financial institutions, particularly those that combine social and financial goals.

A good illustration of this is microfinance, a strategy that provides savings, insurance and loans to help the working poor and their families gain financial security and cope with risk. The Social Finance Programme provides services to ILO constituents in the following four areas: integrating financial and social policies, creating a conducive environment for investment and employment, reducing the vulnerability of the poor, and strengthening the capacity of the social partners to inform, advise and help their constituents.