On May 5th, 2020, the International Labour Organisation published a briefing note describing the impact of the Covid-19 health crisis on the informal economy and proposing short-term actions for States to limit it.
While the global pandemic has significantly changed the way of life of billions of people, it has above all increased the precariousness of the poorest. First at social level, through measures of containment and distancing that have increased the risks of isolation. Then in terms of health, especially in rural areas, where workers do not have access to personal protective equipment (PPE). Finally, the crisis increases the economic insecurity of workers, with a sharp reduction in their activity leading to a considerable loss of income and sometimes even of employment. Therefore, many workers turn to undeclared models so that they can afford basic needs.
Based on these observations, the ILO proposes a global strategy with the following objectives:
According to the ILO, these objectives can be achieved if States comply with international employment standards, by protecting the employment and income of workers. To this end, the ILO encourages public authorities to discuss with the social partners representing the actors in the informal economy to develop appropriate and inclusive measures.
Workers from the personal and household services sector (PHS) are logically impacted by the health crisis. Considered at the fringes of society, they usually do not benefit from social and financial measures implemented by States despite their important and recognised role.
For several weeks now, EFFE and its partners have taken joint action to ensure that these workers are included in European and national policies. In fact, only the harmonisation of European social policies can lead to a sustainable improvement in the working and living conditions of workers. EFFE therefore fully supports the ILO’s proposals and undertakes to bring them to European policy makers to promote coordinated action.