International Labour Organisation outlines four-pronged strategy to address informal workers’ woes

The International Labour Organisation has outlined a four-pronged strategy that includes strengthening health systems, building universal social protection, supporting the recovery of industry and facilitating the transition to formal workforce to address the plight of informal workers across the globe.

The ILO estimates that the lockdown measures across the globe will worsen poverty and vulnerabilities among the world’s two billion informal economy workers.

“The COVID-19 emergency has underscored the worrying consequences of insufficient coverage and efficiency gaps in social protection for workers in the informal economy,” it said.

“Going forward, countries should adopt sustainable social protection mechanisms for all, including those currently in the informal economy, based on a fair sharing of the cost between employers, workers and governments, and ensuring compliance with labour and social security legislation,” it said.

According to ILO, adequate incentives and technical assistance can facilitate the formalization of informal enterprises in the medium to longer term. “Measures to mitigate the contraction of the formal economy, especially micro and small enterprises, are critical to prevent further “informalization”, particularly in developing countries,” it cautioned.

Pointing out weak, inefficient and fragmented health-care systems that are not accessible to all across countries ILO called for an urgent action to close gaps in health coverage and ensure equity in the use of services.

“In many countries, this will require profound reforms, a sizable increase in the public resources allocated to the health system and, equally importantly, greater effectiveness and efficiency in the use of available resources,”it added.

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