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World – Workers have more protection in countries that ratify ILO convention 181

23 January 2014

Workers in countries that have ratified International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 181 on private employment agencies enjoy greater protection, according to the International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (Ciett).

Ciett has carried out an assessment of the benefits linked to the ratification of the ILO Convention on Private Employment Agencies, 1997 (No. 181) and has compared countries that have ratified Convention 181 with countries that have ratified ILO Convention No. 96, which restricts the use of private employment agencies.

The assessment finds that countries under Convention 181 fare better than those under Convention 96. Notably, countries that have ratified Convention No. 181 have:

  • Lower levels of informal and undeclared work;
  • High correlation with democracy
  • More cooperation between public and private employment services;
  • Greater protection for freedom of association;
  • Full respect for the right to strike;
  • Meaningful and constructive social dialogue in the temporary agency work sector;
  • Better protection of agency workers by forbidding fee-charging;
  • Better wages for agency workers;
  • Controlled and mitigated development of the industry. 

This shows that countries that have ratified Convention 181 enjoy workers with higher levels of protection and overall labour markets that perform better compared to countries that are still stuck under the restrictive framework of Convention 96.

In light of these benefits, Ciett calls all governments to ratify Convention 181 as a key instrument to improve workers’ conditions and protection as well as the performance of their labour markets.

To read the full convention, please click here.  

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