REGULAR EMPLOYMENT + EMPLOYMENT SECURITY
If a person is working as a regular employee, their employer cannot avoid social security benefits or other labor laws by keeping them off the payroll. Employees cannot be terminated based on any discriminatory factors or their right to collective bargaining. Termination/dismissal must be fair and within the governing law.
“Obligations to employees under labour or social security laws and regulations arising from the regular employment relationship shall not be avoided through the use of labour-only contracting, sub- contracting, or home-working arrangements, or through apprenticeship schemes where there is no real intent to impart skills or provide regular employment, nor shall any such obligations be avoided through the excessive use of fixed-term contracts of employment.” (ETI)
ILO Convention No.158 in 1982 states that “employment of a worker should not be terminated unless there is a valid reason for such termination connected with the worker’s capacity or conduct, or based on the operational requirements of the enterprise, establishment or service.” (ILO)
The ILO standards seek to find “a balance between maintaining the employer’s right to dismiss workers for valid reasons and ensuring that such dismissals are fair and are used as a last resort, and that they do not have a disproportionately negative impact on the worker.” (ILO)
Under Principle 7.9, the WFTO states as follows. “You monitor the ratio of regular workers to casual workers, strive to provide regular employment and do not use limited term contracts or apprenticeships to avoid social security for Workers.” This principle is deemed as a continuous improvement.
For the most part, we see this as giving small artisan groups some flexibility to outsource work to independent contractors as demands can fluctuate.
Our major concern with outsourcing jobs revolves around homeworkers as they can be the most vulnerable and toughest to track. We love how the WFTO includes homeworkers as part of their standard. The standard covers homeworkers from discrimination and gives them the right to freedom of association. Labour Behind the Label outlines this problem perfectly. We see outsourcing jobs to homeworkers as a challenge but if done correctly, it can positive for reasons mentioned in the article. Lastly, home working is more common among women compared to men (ILO). Just thought it was worth the mention.