The International Labor Organization (ILO) has stated that millions of people work from home in “poor” conditions worldwide and has called for more protection for these employees. Work from home has become widespread during the covid-19 crisis and one in five workers have had to take it on this year. In the report ‘Working from home. From invisibility to decent work ‘published this Wednesday show that those who work outside the company’s headquarters they do not have the same degree of social protection as other employees. In addition, it is detected that work from home is paid less than those who work outside. At the same time, they are less likely to be part of a union or to appear in collective agreements.
“Home workers earn on average 13% less in the UK, 22% in the US, 25% less in South Africa and 50% less in Argentina, India and Mexico,” he said. study. “When factors such as education, age and employment are taken into account a penalty of work is observed from home in almost all countries, even among the most skilled professions, ”they stress.
The organization, which fights to guarantee labor rights around the world, points out that health and safety risks are greater at work from home, and access to training programs is more restricted, which can damage your career.
They add that people who carry out a work activity at home they work less but “their hours are more uncertain.” “For teleworkers, the main concern is the blurring of the dividing lines between work time and personal and family time,” they explain.
The report speaks of ‘work from home’ to refer to any work activity that a person does from their home or in a place other than the company’s headquarters. This type of work is given a wide range of jobs, from craft activities, assembly or provision of services through digital platforms. Telework is part of this category but the ILO limits this denomination to employees who use some kind of information and communication technology (ICT) in their day-to-day work.
According to ILO estimates, before the covid-19 crisis there were 260 million home workers worldwide, 7.9% of world employment and more than half were women, up to 147 million. In the state, the percentage of people who carried out their work activity at home did not exceed 5% before the covid.
During the first months of the onset of the pandemic, lthe total amount increased significantly, as one in five workers worked from home. The ILO expects work from home to become increasingly important in the coming years and calls on governments and companies to ensure that home workers stop being “invisible” and become “decent”.
The increase in people doing this type of work leads the ILO to demand an improvement in the laws that regulate it, that right now they are “deficient.” The organization’s analysis points to a gap in social protection coverage that is close to 40 percentage points in some countries and risks in the handling of tools or ergonomic problems.
Only ten member states of the organization have ratified Convention 117, which promotes equal treatment between home employees and other employees. Spain is not included in the list of countries who have ratified this agreement.
“As a general rule, the regulation of work from home is deficient and compliance with current legislation is complex. In many cases, home workers are considered self-employed contractors and are therefore excluded from the scope of labor legislation.” , points out the report, which states that very few countries have a comprehensive policy on telework.
To improve the current situation, the organization chaired by Guy Ryder claims that facilitate the transition to the formal economy of workers who work remotely in the industrial sector and are guaranteed the signing of a written contract and access to Social Security. As for people who telework from home through digital platforms, they are committed to using the information that is recorded to monitor working conditions and the instruments applied to establish fair wages.
Regarding those who work remotely, the report claims that it is mitigate psychosocial risks and the ‘right to disconnect’ is respected, in order to be able to clearly delimit the professional and personal spheres.