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29 April 2021
ETUC research reveals the fall in workplace inspections across Europe raises Covid-19 risks
A European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) study of 22 countries is raising alarm bells over the fall in the number of labor inspections being carried out across Europe (c.f. below). According to ILO data, since 2010, the number of annual visits by labor inspectors has fallen from 2.2 to 1.7 million, or a 20% fall in just over a decade. This situation coincides with the loss of more than 1,000 labour inspectors in the European Union and has ‘left workplaces less prepared for the Covid-19 pandemic,’ according...
28 April 2021
ILO urges states to strengthen their occupational health and safety services in the event of a new pandemic
On 28 April, the date of the UN’s annual World Day for Safety and Health at Work, the International Labour Organization is calling for occupational health services to be strengthened so as to make them more ‘robust and resilient’ in the event of a new global health crisis. In a comprehensive report, the UN agency shows that ‘frontline’ workers have been particularly exposed to Covid-19. The text cites examples and suggests ways of improving the situation, which the ILO believes include social dialogue...
4 February 2021
China: ILO report notes both the working conditions and lack of regulation related to platform work
In January 2021 the International Labour Organization (ILO) published Working Paper 24 entitled: Online digital labour platforms in China – Working conditions, policy issues and prospects. This reports provides an overview of current online platform usage in China based on a vast survey conducted in 2019 of 1,071 self-employed workers who were using the three largest operators in the online platform sector, namely ZBJ (Chongqing/ southwest China), EPWK (Xiamen/southeast China) and 680 (originally based in...
29 June 2020
ILO convention on violence and harassment to come into force in June 2021
One of the main achievements of the last International Labour Conference, which took place in Geneva in June 2019, the Violence and Harassment Convention (C190) obliges the ratifying states to equip themselves with the appropriate judicial means to prohibit and sanction violence and harassment at work. In particular they must ask employers to adopt, after consultation with employees and their representatives, a policy addressing all forms of violence and harassment (see article n°11188). To establish the date of...
26 May 2020
ILO publishes guidance for a safe and healthy return to work
‘The determining factors in any decision to return to work must be considerations of life and health and the anticipation and mitigation of risks. For the reactivation of economies to be sustainable, workers need to feel safe at their workplaces and reassured that they will not be exposed to unnecessary risks directly related to the new coronavirus,’ emphasizes the ILO’s Guidance Note on a Safe and Healthy Return to Work issued on 22 May. The international organization continues stating, ‘Social...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
12 March 2020
The ILO struggles to define its action for decent work along global supply chain
Momentum from the Centenary celebrations in 2019 (which saw the conclusion of a declaration and a new international convention on violence at work c.f. article No. 11189 and No. 11188) has ultimately proved insufficient. 2020 began with a much-anticipated meeting on decent work in global supply chains, which meant to define how the International Labour Organization should address this 21st century issue. In the face of such a complex topic, which raises among others the debate on the due diligence obligations of...
19 November 2019
OECD advocates for stronger collective bargaining in the digital age
In Berlin on 18 November and presenting the OECD’s latest report on collective bargaining entitles: Negotiating Our Way Up: Collective Bargaining in a Changing World of Work, Stefano Scarpetta, OECD Director of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs emphasized the positive impact of collective bargaining on employment and working conditions, and launched an unambiguous message. With the world of work in flux and influenced by digitalization, automation and demographic change, social partners can and should play a...
29 October 2019
ECHR sets out the circumstances under which covert video-surveillance of employees is justified
In a decision handed down on 17 October 2019 the European Court on Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that covert video-surveillance of staff, which in this case subsequently resulted in employee dismissals, did not constitute a violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, nor of Article 6 section 1 ensuring the right to a fair trial. The ECHR judges deemed that the Spanish courts’ judges had meticulously assessed the rights of both the applicants’, in this case...
2 September 2019
Pay inequality on the rise in several countries (ILO figures)
On its InfoStories website, the International Labour Organization has published a graph demonstrating the changing pay inequality across the world. The graph shows the so-called ‘top-bottom wage inequality ratio’, which compares the group of individuals who are in the top 10% of the income distribution and the group which is in the bottom 10%. Through analysis of OECD data from 2000 and 2016, the graph indicates which countries have seen an increase in inequality and which ones have seen this decrease. An...