Insecure jobs and vulnerability in the COVID-19 era

Communication is indeed vital for the safe return to work. However, the prevalence of precarious employment (insecure jobs on casual and fixed-term contracts or labour hire agencies) undermines the prospects for a safe workplace. We have already seen the double standards in many companies where casual workers do not receive the same Personal Protective EquipmentContinue reading “Insecure jobs and vulnerability in the COVID-19 era”

Behaviour-Based Safety (BBS) and risk in the COVID-19 era

It is increasingly common that BBS systems rely on penalizing individual workers rather than creating a safe working environment. This shapes a workplace culture in which the individual responsibility of workers for their own safety and the safety of others displaces a collective responsibility for a safe workplace and corresponding employer obligations. One consequence isContinue reading “Behaviour-Based Safety (BBS) and risk in the COVID-19 era”

Access to paid sick leave is vital in the COVID-19 era

It is common practice in companies operating the Asia-Pacific region, including transnational companies headquartered in Europe and the USA, to penalize employees for using paid sick leave. While workers in these companies are entitled to paid sick leave, there is an in-built financial disincentive. The use of paid sick leave is included as a negativeContinue reading “Access to paid sick leave is vital in the COVID-19 era”

Using “force majeure” to deny employer responsibility in the COVID-19 pandemic

In the COVID-19 pandemic employers must not terminate workers and must continue to pay wages even if the business is temporarily closed. This is an essential part of government policy responses across the region. Employers must also engage with unions to develop COVID-19 responses that ensure safe work and to safeguard jobs and wages duringContinue reading “Using “force majeure” to deny employer responsibility in the COVID-19 pandemic”

UN Human Rights experts: every worker must be protected!

UN human rights experts have called on governments “to ensure preventative and precautionary measures are in place to protect every worker” as restrictions are eased and work resumes. Continue reading the IUF web story here. Read the press release of the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights: “Every worker is essential andContinue reading “UN Human Rights experts: every worker must be protected!”

Notes on the COVID-19 pandemic and why it’s a COVID-19 crisis

The “COVID-19 pandemic” is the spread of the infectious disease. The “COVID-19 crisis” is the situation we now face in our failure to stop the pandemic: the failure of governments, the economic and political system to protect public health, and the social and economic consequences of all this. The COVID-19 pandemic: As of yesterday [MarchContinue reading “Notes on the COVID-19 pandemic and why it’s a COVID-19 crisis”

younger workers under 45 returning to work is based on business, not science

In Indonesia social restrictions will continue until the end of May. But the government has said that workers under the age of 45 in some sectors can return to work before then. If this happens it risks undoing much of the progress made in April/May in suppressing the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and could lead to aContinue reading “younger workers under 45 returning to work is based on business, not science”

International Health Regulations (IHR) 3rd Emergency Committee recognizes food workers, food supply & food security

The International Health Regulations (IHR) 3rd Emergency Committee convened on April 30 to assess the COVID-19 public health emergency and made recommendations to the WHO and to governments. The Emergency Committee recognized the need to protect food workers and highlighted the need to ensure food security. The Emergency Committee called on the WHO and UNContinue reading “International Health Regulations (IHR) 3rd Emergency Committee recognizes food workers, food supply & food security”

the 12 hour-day undermines rights, health and economic recovery

In several countries laws are being relaxed, suspended or revised to extend daily working hours from 8 to 12 hours. See the case of India, for example. Proponents of these changes claim this will boost business and speed-up economic recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 lock-down. The extension of working hours to 12 resultsContinue reading “the 12 hour-day undermines rights, health and economic recovery”