Crucial to protect workers’ rights as teleworking becomes the norm: UN
The shift to teleworking is set to be long-term, which makes it crucial to protect employees’ rights and avoid blurred lines between work hours and personal time, said the United Nations.
Problems facing workers who work from home and their employers need greater attention, including better safeguards and more awareness of the rights and risks involved, the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) highlighted in a recent report.
“Governments have a leading role to play in guaranteeing the protection of homeworkers’ rights, in cooperation with workers’ and employers’ organizations and, where they exist, associations of homeworkers and of their employers,” it said.
“Trade unions and employers’ organisations also have a critical role to play, including through awareness raising initiatives and participation in collective bargaining,” the report states.
In 2019, there were some 260 million home-based workers globally, accounting for about 7.9% of global employment, according to the ILO. However in the first few months of the pandemic last year, the figure rose to represent one in five workers.
Most home-based workers are also women: 147 million women worked from home in 2019, as compared to 113 million men who worked from home in the same year, based on ILO data.