March 25, 2020 SPECIAL COVID-19 ISSUE

INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION - ILO Issues Timely Guidance on COVID-19 and the World of Work

By: Tequila Brooks, Comparative Labor and Employment Law Scholar

On March 18, 2020, the International Labor Organization issued timely guidance in the form of a 15-page note titled, COVID-19 and the world of work: Impact and policy responses. The note consists of a preliminary assessment of the impacts of COVID-19 on the world of work and steps that policy makers, employers, and trade unions should take to mitigate these impacts.

The ILO estimates that over 25 million jobs could be lost worldwide as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To mitigate the negative impact the pandemic could have on the global workforce, the ILO recommends adoption of a 3-pillar policy framework to fight the virus based on international labor standards. These three pillars are (1) protecting workers in the workplace, (2) stimulating the economy and labor demand, and (3) supporting employment and incomes. The workplace protections recommended include strengthening OSH measures, adapting work arrangements like teleworking, providing healthcare access, and expanding access to paid leave. The note highlights examples of positive examples of measures already taken by countries to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on workplaces, including financial and tax relief for individuals and enterprises. The ILO has also created a resource page dedicated to COVID-19 and the World of Work.

Tequila Brooks

Comparative Labor and Employment Law Scholar