July 10, 2019
On the 19th of June, the International Labour Organization adopted a ground-breaking Convention and Recommendation to combat violence and harassment in the workplace, after four years of common work and negotiations between trade unions, employers, experts, states representatives, etc..
The Convention recognizes that violence and harassment in the world of work “can constitute a human rights violation or abuse”, “a threat to equal opportunities” and is “unacceptable and incompatible with decent work”. This violence includes all the behaviours, practices or threats “that aim at, result in, or are likely to result in physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm”. In this way, Member States have a responsibility to promote a “general environment of zero tolerance”.
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder recognized “the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment”, and that the workers need to have a “better, safer, decent, working environment”.
The Convention also recognizes the effects of domestic violence and, so far as is reasonably practicable, mitigate its impact in the world of work. The Recommendation proposes some measures to moderate the effects of domestic violence in the workplace:
- Leave for victims of domestic violence
- Flexible work arrangements and protection for victims of domestic violence
- Temporary protection against dismissal for victims of domestic violence, as appropriate, except on grounds unrelated to domestic violence and its consequences
- The inclusion of domestic violence in workplace risk assessments
- A referral system to public mitigation measures for domestic violence, where they exist; and
- Awareness-raising about the effects of domestic violence.
The Convention will enter into force 12 months after two member States have ratified it. Despite the fact that the Recommendation is not legally binding, it is encouraging States to introduce measures against the consequences of violence, provides guidelines on how the Convention could be applied while leaving certain freedom of choice.
These advances are in line with the ambitions of the CEASE project, to recognize the role of companies in fighting domestic violence and supporting survivors. The project gives tools to employers in order to help potential victims. With sensitization materials, training, e-learning platform and a European corporate network, the project supports companies to create a safe and supportive work environment toward domestic violence.
✊ Join the fight! Come to the final event on the 20th of November in Brussels! Stay tuned for more info here!
This project is co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020) of the European Commission, in collaboration with DIESIS, Pour la Solidarité, Fondation Agir Contre l’Exclusion and CSR Hellas.