SOCIAL + HEALTH BENEFITS
From what we can garner, health benefits should meet the minimum standards set out by the states governing body. Besides that, everything is pretty up in the air. I will let the ILO explain it.
“The Conventions and Recommendations which make up the ILO’s standards framework on social security are unique: they set out minimum standards of protection to guide the development of benefit schemes and national social security systems, based on good practices from all regions of the world. They are therefore based on the principle that there is no single model for social security, and that it is for each country to develop the required protection.”
In essence, the ILO provides principles that countries can follow or not. The ILO itself does not require these but it does encourage them. For this reason, most standards are pretty vague on this. The ETI includes benefits with living wags and the WFTO goes a little further which we will explain below.
ILO Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102) deals with social security for states. The convention covers nine “branches” of social security: medical care, sickness, unemployment, old age, employment injury, family, maternity, invalidity and survivors’ benefits. Ratifying states need to initially accept three of the nine benefits and “subsequently accepting obligations under other branches, thereby allowing them to progressively attain all the objectives set out in the Convention.”
“Wages and benefits paid for a standard working week meet, at a minimum, national legal standards or industry benchmark standards, whichever is higher.” (ETI)
Again, these are more guidelines than standards. We would go into more detail in regards to these standards but remember, these are for state governments, not organizations.
Of the fashion standards, the WFTO probably has the most well defined and clear standard when it comes to benefits. Even better, this is mandatory for all members!
“You provide your Workers with all legally required social benefits (e.g. retirement contributions, sick leave, basic social security, health care contributions, as applicable)”
We can’t stress how important comprehensive health benefits are for the fashion industry.
ILO global estimates, “2.78 million work-related deaths are recorded every year, of which 2.4 million are related to occupational diseases.”
“Besides the suffering to both employees and their families, according to the ILO the economic losses due to compensation for workplace injury, lost work days, medical coverage is about 3.94 percent of the world’s GDP.” (ILO)