ILO calls attention to ‘invisible’ problems of home-based workforce

THE International Labor Organization (ILO) said Thursday that employers need to focus on the problems faced by workers who have adopted work-from-home arrangements during the pandemic, particularly the need to pay fair salaries and offer social protections.

In a statement, the ILO said home-based work during the pandemic can make any emerging problems affecting such workers “invisible.”

“Since home working occurs in the private sphere it is often ‘invisible.’ In low- and middle-income countries for instance, almost all home-based workers (90%) work informally. They are usually worse off than those who work outside the home, even in higher-skilled professions,” the ILO said.

The ILO said there are about 260 million home-based workers worldwide which corresponds to over 7% of the global workforce. The organization estimates that last year, one in five employees was telecommuting, with the proportion set to increase and more home-workers are likely to increase this year.

Citing a report, “Working from home: From invisibility to decent work,” which was released Wednesday, the ILO recommended that employers offer training to maximize the capabilities and earning power of those working from home.

“(A)ll home workers should benefit from social security coverage and have access to training that can increase their productivity, employment opportunities and income-earning capacity,” according to the report. — Gillian M. Cortez