Building to address decent work deficits in NSE

Building on
guidance from international labour standards and current practices observed at
the national level, this report advances policy recommendations to address
decent work deficits in NSE in four main policy areas.

 

1. Plugging regulatory gaps

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Ensuring equal
treatment for workers in NSE is essential; it is also a way of maintaining a
level playing field for employers. Establishing minimum guaranteed hours and
limiting the variability of working schedules can provide important safeguards
for part-time, on-call and casual workers. The legislation
also needs to address employment misclassification, restrict some uses of NSE
to prevent abuse, and assign obligations and responsibilities in multi-party
employment arrangements. Efforts are needed to ensure that all workers,
regardless of their contractual arrangement, have access to freedom of
association and collective bargaining rights. Improving enforcement is also
essential.

 

 

 

2. Strengthening collective bargaining

Collective
bargaining can take into account particular circumstances of the sector or
enterprise and is thus well-suited to help lessen insecurities in NSE. However,
the effort is needed to build the
capacity of unions in this regard, including through the organisation and
representation of workers in NSE. Where it exists, the extension of collective
agreements to all workers in a sector or occupational category is a useful tool
to reduce inequalities for workers in NSE. Alliances between unions and other
organisations can be part of collective responses to issues of concern to
non-standard and standard workers alike.

 

3. Strengthening social protection

Countries should
strengthen, and sometimes adapt their
social protection systems to ensure that all workers benefit from social
protection coverage. This may include eliminating or lowering thresholds on
minimum hours, earnings or duration of employment so that workers in NSE are
not excluded, or making systems more flexible with regard to contributions
required to qualify for benefits, allowing for interruptions in contributions,
and enhancing the portability of benefits between different social security
systems and employment statuses. These changes should be complemented by
efforts to guarantee a universal social protection floor.

 

4. Instituting employment and social policies to manage social
risks and accommodate transitions.

Macroeconomic
policies should support full, productive and freely chosen employment,
including through public employment programmes, when needed. Unemployment
insurance programmes should cover a broader range of contingencies such as
reduced working hours during periods of economic recession, as well as
temporary absences of workers who are undergoing training. Policies to support
parental and other care leave and to facilitate transfer from full-time to
part-time work and vice versa, as well as the provision of care facilities,
help workers to reconcile work and family responsibilities.Policies are needed
to ensure that all types of work arrangements constitute decent work, as no
contractual form is immune to the ongoing transformations in the world of work.
While the years ahead will undoubtedly bring new changes, the dependence on
work for one’s livelihood and the effect of work on a person’s overall
well-being will not change. It is thus incumbent on governments, as well as
employers, workers and their organisations, through national, regional and
international efforts, to focus on these challenges in the context of the
future of work, with the goal of promoting decent work for all.