The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has issued new guidelines for businesses to help them support working families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The preliminary guidance urges employers to consider the impact of business decisions on workers’ families and support greater social protection wherever possible.
The extra support, particularly for those with low incomes, is essential to minimise the negative consequences of the outbreak for workers, employers, their families and children. ILO and UNICEF also called on governments to support employers and strengthen social protection, especially for vulnerable families.
Family-friendly policies and practices, including employment and income protection, flexible working arrangements, paid leave to care for family members and access to quality, emergency childcare can make a critical difference and help stabilize labour markets, families and societies.
The preliminary guidelines for employers include monitoring and following advice from local and national authorities and communicating that to the workforce; reviewing existing workplace policies to ensure those offer sufficient support to workers and their families; following sound practices when implementing policies based on social dialogue, national labour laws and international labour standards; and ensuring workplace support measures are available to all, without discrimination, and that all workers know, understand, and are comfortable with them.